Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 59: SLEEP, my pretty, SLEEP. (and a GIVEAWAY!)

I have very few memories of taking care of Lauren as a baby. Eric was in medical school then & he would get up, every night, and feed her and rock her back to sleep. It was a difficult time for us - we were new parents, Eric was in school, I was working full time by running a care facility... And I was a walking zombie. My inability to wake up in the night only got worse. I was constantly tired. The minute Eric would come home in the evenings, I would pass out on the couch from fatigue. I was "off duty" and poor Eric had to take the parenting over. I also snored so loudly I could shake the paint off of the walls. Eric would do whatever he could to fall asleep before I did so that he could get some rest before the snoring began. (I have such a selfless husband... I look back on these years and I feel terrible, thinking about how he put up with so much and never complained...)

As the years went on, my fatigue only got worse. Eric suggested that I may have Sleep Apnea but I didn't really want to hear it. In the meantime, I could fall asleep anywhere. I couldn't make it through a television show without falling asleep. If we got in the car to go to Wal-Mart, I'd be asleep in my seat before we got there. On a couple of occasions, I had to drive on short trips and I would have to pull over and take a quick nap before proceeding because I was falling asleep at the wheel. I knew I couldn't put it off any longer... I couldn't continue to deny it... I had a problem and I needed to get some help.

When I went to have my sleep study, I remember being so sad. There's no other way to describe it- I was just sad. I felt like my life had finally come to "this." I had to be connected to all kinds of electrodes and sleep in an unfamiliar place because I was not like everyone else. Sad. I met with the physician a few days later and he said I had one of the worst cases of sleep apnea he had seen. While I was being tested, I was experiencing an average of 130 apneic events per hour.

I remember the doctor telling me I needed to lose weight. I was 244 pounds, that day. I said "I don't have time to exercise." He said "you haven't made it a priority." That comment stayed with me over the last few years because it was true. And that's one of the reasons I'm writing this post, today. We always make time for the things we WANT to do. And listen, I'm not in love with working out. Trust me. I can find a hundred excuses why I CAN'T make it to the gym... but I HAVE to make it a priority. My days MUST be scheduled around my gym time or I'm not going to go. I have a lot to do tomorrow but as I think about what I need to accomplish and in what order, I'm also thinking about where my gym time is going to fit in my day. I really don't have a choice.

And to conclude my sleep apnea story - - there's a HAPPY ENDING! I received my c-pap machine & we haven't been without each other ever since. It was love at first sight! It took me a couple of weeks to get used to waking up in the morning and being... AWAKE. I was so used to fighting for five more minutes of rest and now, all of the sudden, I open my eyes and I'm... refreshed. I felt like I could conquer the world and had more energy then I had in years. It's wonderful. Eric is also more rested now that I'm not snoring, anymore. He didn't realize how sleep deprived he had also become. And when the kids wake up in the night, I pull my mask off, pop out of bed, and act as their mother. That's the greatest reward of all.

If you think that you may have a sleep disorder, please talk to your physician about it. You owe it to your family, your friends, your co-workers, the other people driving in traffic with you, but most of all, you owe it to yourself. Getting the right treatment for sleep apnea will change your life. I promise.

NOW... let's have a "the weekend is over" giveaway! All of this talk about sleep... is making me... want to give you something that is comfy... soft... sleep inducing... And nothing is better, at the end of a long day, then slipping into a bed made with quality sheets. Listen, Hempels tend to be a bit snobby when it comes to our fabric content and thread count. It's true. Today I'm giving away a set of 500 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets...


The winner may choose the color & size, using the choices provided by the link:

If you would like to enter to win these soft, wonderful sheets.... please answer the following question in the comments section of this post:

Do you have any specific REQUIREMENTS or RITUALS that help you get to sleep at night? (sorry... I'm a TV watcher... I do set the "timer" so it shuts off. Eric sleeps with his music & head phones EVERY night. Started out with a Walkman, 13 years ago... now it's an iPad...)

I will accept entries through Wednesday, August 4th, at midnight. The winner will be announced on Thursday, August 5th, 2010. Only one entry per person, please... The winner will be responsible for claiming their prize and I will communicate with the winner to solidify what color and size of sheet set.

And, in conclusion, I'm going to bed. It's 1:14AM and I have a BUSY day tomorrow. Goodnight!!

40 comments:

windylou said...

I have to have as close to a pitch-black room as possible. I also need some form of rhythm - whether it be a back rub, a cat purr or even my dh' snores.

Btw our md has told dh he should do a sleep study and after reading this post I'm thinking he should get in there sooner rather than later. Only $1000 more to go to reach our deductible.....grrrrr.

laurens_closet said...

Windylou.... Eric & I have discussed what kind of dollar amount you could put on the benefits we both received from my c-pap machine: priceless. It has made such an amazing difference on my quality of life- like night and day. It's SO worth the money! And I'll also tell you that a complete sleep study isn't always necessary... he may be able to do an overnight oximetry MEANING he can sleep in his OWN bed with one little oxygen clip on his finger. The clip records his oxygen saturation among other things & they can prescribe sleep therapy from there. (the sleep labs probably don't want you to know all of that...) I know you're the kind of gal to do some research- check it out. If you have a Lincare where you live, call them! Good luck!!

Amy

windylou said...

That is great to know. He could really use better rest, I could too for that matter...seeing as it's after 4 am and the snores woke me up...again...

Thanks!

Michelle said...

To sleep I need two pillows, one for my head and one between my knees to shift my back. Other than that I can sleep pretty easy.

icitea said...

For me, the ritual depends on the kind of day I had.

If I had been doing strenuous exercise during the day such as moving furniture or going swimming, then I would bypass all rituals and hit the hay early.

If it was just a normal day, the ritual would start with a cup of milk. I'd let the rabbit out and play with him for half and hour; it's highly relaxing, and leaves me with a nice, light end to the day. Then off to the bathroom to brush the teeth, and then to the guest room to choose a book to read. My bedroom is completely dark, and the lamp is on my headrest shelf. I read until my eyelids start to droop, before turning the light off, arranging the blankets around me into an comfy embrace... and only then can I sleep. I also need complete silence; the most bothersome thing to hear for me when I'm trying to sleep is actually the sound of my own heartbeat, or the low hum of the fridge. Then I have to adjust the pillow, or wait for the fridge to kick into a quieter mode.

Suz said...

To get to sleep now I need 15-20 minutes of reading and a ceiling fan overhead. And, sleep is blissful, blissful!!! Our youngest didn't sleep for 2 1/2 years - that's right I said years! He was up every night 3 or 4 times. I get not remembering your daughters childhood because I struggle to remember mine, she was only 18 months older and started sleeping a solid 12 hours at 10 weeks so the next baby was a shock! I know this is more info than the contest needs, but I wanted to let you know I can relate, missing child milestones, feeling exhausted, oh it was hard. Now he sleeps like a dream. And, oh I could use new sheets, we just moved and are upgrading to a king size, new sheets would be dreamy.

Anonymous said...

My history is much the same, Amy. Nowadays, putting my C-PAP mask on is a huge cue for my body to get ready to sleep. I cannot relax without it. And like Windylou, I need darkness. George's alarm clock is too bright for me and does not have a dimmer switch that we can find, so we keep a bandanna handy to throw over it every night. I did not know all of that about your early days with Lauren. I can sure relate to the fog that life becomes when you are so terribly sleep deprived! I think it was 9 months after getting the C-PAP before I felt really rested again. What a deficit! Love you, KarenT

Anonymous said...

i have to sleep with the fan on - as for a ritual - my 3 year old usually gets up between 11-12 and i usualy wait until she gets up before going to bed - i am not a very happy person if woken up in my first sleep cycle! sleep well! - peri wright

Karen said...

I would love to have those sheets.

I got into the bad habit of going to sleep with the TV on. Than when I would wake up in the night I would get interested in a show and stay up all night watching it. The husband and I finally agreed to just shut it off and leave the room completely dark.

T said...

My roommate at the Biggest Loser Resort had a c-pap machine and it was a LIFE SAVER! She took it off in the middle of the night once and OMG if she hadn't had that machine and I'd had to listen to the snoring all night--I would have had to request a roommate change! But I'm glad that you embraced your need for one. She was trying to fight it and insisted she didn't need it anymore.

Anyways, I am also a TV sleeper. I turn the volume all the way down...I think it's more the glow that I need. I wonder sometimes if I should just get a really bright night-light!

Tracy W.

Me, Only Better said...

I am a tv watcher too (and set my timer), but I noticed when I was on holidays where I was sleeping tv -less, I read before bed and I slept so much better.

Can I tell you how much I love that you make exercise a priority? I need to do that Amy, because it seems that I am always last on the list.

Cupboard Love said...

We have to have cool dark room with no noise except for the sound of the ceiling fan. My husband seriously cannot sleep without that noise. I had a clock that went "tick-tock" and it drive him crazy!

Also, I snore horribly too (I think I also have sleep apnea - I used to scare my hubby when I'd stop breathing at night), so he has to fall asleep before me or he doesn't sleep, poor thing.

I'm really hoping the weight loss will help. Also I really want my damn tonsils out!

christina said...

My room has to be very dark. I need to have a fan on high. I need a cold room so I can be wrapped in a blanket. Preferebly my husband already asleep before I go to sleep because he jerks in his sleep when he is falling asleep and it is SOOOO annoying. I cant have a tv in the room... bedrooms need to be just for sleeping for me.

Stephanie said...

I too sleep with the tv on.. at some point my husband turns it off. I never have trouble falling asleep but I almost always wake up and then take FOREVER to go back to sleep. Then I start stressing over everything I have to do the next day. It is so frustrating.(btw this never happened until I had kids) When I have worked out really hard I will sometimes sleep through the night.. I guess that is good incentive to work out:)

Christy said...

I have insomnia like crazy. I WANT to sleep but the thinker keeps me up all crazy hours (which is ok b/c I get lots of work done then.) But when I CAN sleep, I need a fan or some other white noise, darkness and a pillow for my knees. Sometimes a book or Yahtzee on the iPhone can coax me to actual sleep. I'm about to face apartment life again as a single mom....let's hope for quiet neighbors and insomnia to GO AWAY!! :)

Vicky said...

i don't need a ritual. I have 5 year old twins and a mentally handicapped daughter to take care of daily. Sleep is my best friend!! Great post and an exciting Giveaway!

Jill said...

I have to have our bedroom fan on to go to sleep. I have to have a cold and dark bedroom to sleep in. My husband works 4 days at 10hrs per day: 2 graveyard shifts and 2 swing shifts at Sky Lakes. His work schedule can also mess up my sleep. We have both used earplugs at different times so that we can't hear each other snore.

The Duckworth Family said...

I can pretty much sleep any time and anywhere, but I love my dark room with a fan running. I love my two pillows and cuddling with them although my back does not!

Trista said...

I have black out curtains, I shut out all the light and even had to buy an alarm clock without glow. And there has to be a fan! I travel a lot for work and I take pins to close the curtains as tight as possible and always order a fan.

Mamaappah said...

I love sleep! I sleep well, thank goodness. Glad you've made the change to help yourself.

Jennifer Garza said...

An episode or two of LOST. I'm on season five.

Laurie (GastricGirl.com) said...

I have to have a dark room and cannot sleep if my feet are covered.. it doesn't matter how cold it is, my feet have to stick out!
I could use some new sheets! *fingers crossed!*

MatKiKenz said...

sleep?! wait whats that?! My lack of sleep isn't because I have sleep apnea, its because i have an almost 8 month old that still doesnt sleep thru the night! We are progressing however, we only get up 1x a night to eat! wooo hooo!!! and baby is no longer co-sleeping! yay for me!!!

ok so when I do sleep there is must haves... MY baby blanket... it's more or less just an added "pillow" that I can adjust, fold, shove under, tuck just right, cover my eyes with if too much light, cover up with if I'm too chilly, place so my husband's breathing doesnt touch me security system. I've taken it to the hospital when I had the baby, numerous vacation including to foreign countries, camping, houseboating, etc and have never wished I would have just left it at home.

Allison said...

I always sleep better knowing that my kids are taken care of before they go to bed. Are their teeth brushed? Does the baby has a dry diaper on and is he asleep in his toddler bed and not on the flood in front of the door? do they need an extra blanket? Then I play around on facebook untill I can't keep my eyes open any longer. I used to tend to sleep in my clothes alot, which buggs my husband, so i've been trying to sleep in pajamas more often.

Alison West said...

I love your story and it shows we can have issues and work thru them :) In December 2004 when my son Matthew was hit by a car my nights of sleeping ended. All the craziness and scared feelings and my brain would never turn off. I tried sleeping aids both prescribed and over the counter and they either did not work or worked too godd (I could not wake up)than I resulted to just Tyenol PM. But now that I am going to Anytime Fitness at least 4 nights a week I sleep wonderful. I work out around 8:00 - 9:30 come home and shower and than relax a bit and sleep great !!!!

bobbi said...

I love to curl up with my Kindle and read until i can't keep my eyes open. Works everytime!

Beth said...

I have to have a fan on for white noise. That started in college. I never had a fan on growing up, and now when I visit my parents' house it is just so quiet. Too quiet. They live on a farm so there is no noise, except for the occasional cow mooing if the window is open in the summer.

Michelle Davis said...

My sleep ritual changes every night. Some nights I sit and think about all the things I did or didn't do during the day, and sometimes I just pass right out. My favorite kind of sleep is where it feels like you just blinked your eyes and the whole night has passed and you wake up feeling refreshed. I dream a lot and have really vivid dreams, so its like living a whole other day while I'm sleeping!

Jaime said...

Well miss amy, this giveaway is fantastic! Scott and I just got fancy pillowcases (for the first time in our marriage) and LOVE them but are to broke to get any of the sheets. I got all giddy when I read your post. Your awesome!
**So my sleep ritual (because I also snore like a rino) I have to lay on my side to fall asleep so as not to wake up my whole family. When I was little my mom would tape a tennis ball to my back so I would sleep on my side and not snore. I guess I got usto it and it stuck. I can not sleep in any other position.
Thanks for the chance to win!!

Haylee said...

as bad as it may be, a light snack always helps me unwind and go to sleep better. I always make sure to fit it into my daily calorie allowance though so it doesn't cause any problems. :)

happy_haylee_3(at)hotmail(dot)com

Rachel Garcia said...

I have to sleep to with my TV on, I blame my mother! I also like a fan, for that I blame my father, Ruben has a CPAP and I find it quite sexy, cause it keeps him alive, and gives him the energy to work hard to support our family.

韋雅萍志 said...

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Kristin S said...

Your story has made me schedule an appt with my physician to discuss sleep apnea. I've wondered for several months if it was possible that I could be suffering from it, and you made me realize that if I indeed have it, I cannot really live my life without treating it.

To answer the sleep ritual question...I read. I used to read a book, then I'd fall asleep reading it and lose my page. My wonderful hubby got me an eReader for Mother's Day and I LOVE it. I fall asleep reading most nights. We're also a little snobby about our linens...and it's worn off on our children. At only 3 years old my twins commented in the hotel just two days ago that the sheets were not soft like ours at home!

Yaya Cheryl said...

Always take 2 tylenol pm tablets and have the ceiling fan on. My hubby of 42 years used to hate the fan, but guess he's getting use to it or just gave up on complaining about it.

Kristina said...

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The Tennessee Nobles said...

I personally have to check and make sure all the boys are asleep, wash my face and brush my teeth. (if i don't, I wake up around 3AM and do it) then I have to have white noise in the background.

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MParrish said...

I LOVE SLEEP! But I used to sleep very little because I required very little to function from age 18-26. I would go to bed at midnight and wake up without an alarm, wide awake at 6 am, every single day....I could never sleep in, I couldn't even understand how people COULD sleep in. Then my life became very sleep deprived because of clinicals- all night ER shifts, on call surgery, OB, NICU - you name it...and I began to LOVE sleep. At night I fall asleep within 5 minutes. But I am a very light sleeper, so I wake up to anything (Troy could sleep through an earthquake and thunderstorm and a monsoon simultaneously). But I do have a hard time waking up because my TEMPUR-PEDIC bed is SO AMAZING AND COMFORTABLE I JUST WANT TO LIE IN IT EVERY DAY ALL DAY LONG. And I would LOVE new soft soft sheets to complete with love affair with my bed!

罗韬 said...

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