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Cheating Ourselves of Sleep – Health Impacts

December 7th, 2015 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

Cheating Ourselves of SleepIt is a well known fact that sleep deprivation can have extensive health impacts. Yet we are all guilty of cheating ourselves of sleep. For some people it is only a day or two at a time and then we are back to normal. However for many consumers, especially seniors, cheating ourselves of sleep is actually the norm. The real questions is whether we would change our bad sleep habits if we actually understood the impacts of not getting enough sleep has on our health? We all feel that we are super humans and it will not affect us. In fact we may not even realize the impact until it is too late. So, what are the impacts when we cheat ourselves of sleep over the long term?

Cheating Ourselves of Sleep – Health Impacts

As the picture above shows the impacts on our health can be numerous. They can be significant if sleep deprivation is allowed to continue for too long. You decide which ones apply to you and if you need to take action now. We will expand on each in a little more detail:

  • Risk of Diabetes – poor eating habits brought on by tiredness bring on diabetes
  • Growth suppression – Same thing applies here as well. People tend to eat to obtain energy
  • Risk of Obesity – eating high energy foods and sugar based foods as well as lower exercise leads to obesity
  • Decreased Reaction time – can cause accidents when operating machinery
  • Decrease Accuracy – errors made at work leads to poor performance
  • Tremors – the body reacts to being over tired inducing tremors
  • Aches – joint problems are increased
  • Irritability – lowered levels of patience leads to bad interactions with others
  • Cognitive Impairment – more difficulty in solving complex problems
  • Memory Loss – lowered ability to recall details and even normal day to day events and details
  • Impaired Moral Judgement – leads to poor decisions
  • Severe Yawning – often and long are indicators of sleep deprivation
  • Impaired Immune System – leads to more colds, sickness etc
  • Hallucinations – severe sleep loss can lead to serious sleep issues

If you are suffering from any of these you could be suffering severe sleep deprivation. Talk to a doctor and perhaps have a sleep assessment to determine if there is some underlying cause. For more details about getting a good nights sleep, click here.


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Getting the Right Amount of Sleep

October 7th, 2015 ernie Posted in Sleep 1 Comment »

Getting the Right Amount of SleepHow can you tell if your getting the right amount of sleep? The chart on the left shows the relative average amount of sleep you should get based on age. At age 20 it levels off between 7 to 8 hours of sleep depending on the individual. Some people can get along with less sleep but those are rare. There are ways to tell if your getting the right amount of sleep. Regardless of how much you think your body can tolerate in terms of sleep loss, pay attention to these indicators.

Getting the Right Amount of Sleep

You might be lacking sleep if you do some or all of the following:

  • Require an alarm clock in order to wake up on time
  • Hit the snooze button on a regular basis
  • Have a difficult time getting up in the morning
  • Have low energy in the afternoon
  • Fall asleep or sleepy in meetings, lectures, or warm rooms
  • Require a nap after heavy meals or when driving
  • Napping to get through the day
  • Fall asleep in front of the TV
  • Need to sleep in on weekends to catch up on lost sleep
  • Fall asleep within five minutes of hitting the pillow

The above are all indicators of someone who is not getting enough sleep. The question is what to do about the situation once you realize that this may be an issue for you. Some people just need to focus on getting more sleep and avoid burning the midnight oil. Others have underlying health issues that need to be investigated.

For example, sleep apnea is something we have discussed a lot on this site. It affects one in 20 people and contributes to strokes, high blood pressure and heart attacks. Sleep loss is common and the above indicators all seem to be prevalent. Many people who suffer from being over weight also suffer from sleep apnea. They gain weight due to ongoing sleep loss. It is a cycle that is difficult to get out of.

Do yourself a favor, take the appropriate steps to manage your sleep loss and avoid some of the major health issues that it can cause. For more sleep-related posts, click here.


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Consumers losing Sleep over Financial Issues

August 21st, 2015 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

Consumers losing Sleep over Financial IssuesConsumers losing sleep over financial issues and other health related issues have a higher probability of being overweight and having other health problems. On this site we talk a lot about losing weight, dieting, exercise, etc. but the reality is that you may do everything right and yet even gain weight because you are not getting enough sleep. Sleeplessness causes low energy levels. We compensate by eating more often and eating energy-rich foods such as sugar deserts etc. If we are lucky we stay the same in weight, but most of us gain weight. It turns out that financial issues are a huge contributor to losing sleep. Here is a little more information about this issue and what you can do about it.

Consumers losing Sleep over Financial Issues – Causes

2007 2009 2015
Retirement savings 34% 40% 40%
Health care/insurance bills 28% 35% 29%
Mortgage/rent  20% 28% 27%
Education expenses 31% 27% 31%
Credit card debt 17% 23% 21%

There have been some changes over the years. But the real question is what can you do about it if you are falling into this category and are losing sleep as a result.

Take action on the issue that is causing you to lose sleep. If it is credit card debt and your paying high interest rate, get a low interest loan and pay it off as quickly as you can. Lock up the card so you cannot use it and if you do not have the money to make a purchase then don’t spend the money. You might have to scrimp and save, you might have to give up a few things until you resolve the issue, but at least you have a plan and you are dealing with it. Just doing this part will help you sleep better.

The same is true for other items on this list that are keeping you awake at night. Your issue may not be on the list, but whatever it is devise a plan to deal with your issue. Talk to experts or your spouse to get some help regarding what to do. Bottom line is to take action to reduce your stress and avoid gaining weight because you are not sleeping.

For more information about sleep issues, click here.



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Impact of long work hours on Sleep

July 21st, 2015 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

Impact of long work hours on SleepThe impact of long work hours on sleep and performance on the job as well as your personal life cannot be over emphasized. A boss once told me that if you work extra hours, often what happens is that you try to compensate by spending the same hours you have always done on your personal life leaving less time than normal for sleep.

If this occurs once in a while, it is no big deal, however if it is ongoing over a few days or longer the impact can be significant. If you work 8 hours a day normally, sleep for 8 hours that leaves 8 hours for personal activities with the family and friends. Once your work hours expand, let’s say to 10 hours, it usually means that people will compensate by spending 7 hours on the personal stuff and 7 hours on sleep. More extreme examples are often the norm.

What is the Impact of long work hours on Sleep

Most people should really have 8 hours of sleep on average to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Less than that and you can enter a chronic sleep loss situation where you compensate by drinking more coffee and eating more to maintain energy levels. You gain weight, you become irritable, you are less fun and you can even begin to experience health issues.

When it comes to health issues, there are numerous things such as heart disease from weight gain, stress-induced health issues, accidents caused by not being attentive and so on. Many people will not realize that it all leads back to getting enough sleep.

Maintain a regular sleep pattern of going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. Don’t drink caffeinated beverages before going to bed, do not do stimulating things before going to bed, and above all train your body into knowing that sleeping at the same time everyday is the right approach to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This can include regular exercise, eating properly and maintaining a life style that is conducive to getting enough sleep.

For more information about not getting enough sleep, click here.


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How Much Sleep Do You Need

July 7th, 2015 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

How Much Sleep Do You NeedWe all cut back on our sleep due to various pressures from work and family life issues. It is the easiest thing to do when you are pressed for time. Yet it is probably one of the worst things you can do with regards to your health. Lack of sleep, even a little loss can take a toll on your health. How Much Sleep Do You Need? Lack of sleep affects your mood, your energy level, your ability to handle stress. Also your ability to deal with complex activities and to focus on a variety of tasks that are required in everyday life. Some people do get by with less sleep than others. But most of us just need to get our rest. The experts say that an average of eight hours an evening are necessary for a healthy lifestyle.

How Much Sleep Do You Need

Adults need 7.5 hours to 9 hours of sleep and children should be sleeping even more to help their bodies grow and progress in a healthy manner. Anything less than that and our bodies will begin to show the tell tale signs of sleep deprivation. Mood swings, over reaction to various stress issues, getting colds more often and a lowering of the bodies defense mechanisms can cause more serious ailments.

If your job or daily life is so demanding that you feel that you need to give up on rest, consider that if you are well rested, you are going to be more efficient and alert. Job performance will increase and you will get more done. You will lose less time from struggling over decisions or complex tasks and you will lose less time as well if the emotional issues do not get in the way. Getting enough rest will help all of these things and make you more fun to be around.

If you are not alert and energetic all day long then you are probably not getting enough rest. Take some time to re-evaluate your sleep patterns and improve your energy levels. Relying on caffeine to give you an energy boost is not the best approach. Many people also eat high energy foods to combat sleep loss or low energy periods during the day, which can contribute to weight gain. Figuring out how much rest do you need personally can dramatically affect your life in a positive way.

Who knew that all of these issues including weight gain can be linked back to not getting enough rest. For more rest suggestions, click here.

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Make Your Smartphone Sleep on the Couch

July 21st, 2014 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

What can cause sleeping problemsSmart phones are a wonderful tool, however more and more people are finding that they need to let their Smartphone Sleep on the Couch so they can get a good night sleep. If you bring your phone to bed with you are you listening for the familiar notification when a new email arrives?  Or an alert that signifies something you are tracking has been updated. Any of these things can be distracting. They can ruin your sleep as well as that of your partner. This can leave you tired with low energy and unable to concentrate properly on the job or the daily tasks at hand.

Smartphone Sleep on the Couch – Turn it Off

There are a number of solutions to dealing with this problem. The main focus is to get a good nights sleep and really the best solution is to leave your smart phone in another room, where it cannot be heard. If you have a tendency to also use it to read books or articles, the news etc when you cannot sleep it really should not be on your smart phone. The light tends to wake us up even more and cause us to get used to waking up in the middle of the night. If you do this often enough, you establish a pattern and your body becomes trained to wake up in the middle of the night.

Smartphone Sleep on the Couch – Set it to Not Disturb

I have an iPhone and regularly take it to bed with me. It sits on the night stand ready for me to grab it at any time. I use the built in alarm to wake me up in the morning. I also set the phone to night time do not disturb mode. This has the phone turn off all notifications and alerts. As a result there are no interruptions that can wake you up. I specifically do read in the middle of the night although I have lots of good books on my phone. This is a personal rule that I have made to help me sleep at night. I want to avoid getting into the habit of waking up in the middle of the night.

Several links to other sleep related posts may be helpful, click here.


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Lack of sleep leads to obesity, heart problems

July 7th, 2014 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

Lack of sleepA recent publication quoted Dr. Elliott Lee, a sleep specialist based at Ottawa’s Royal Mental Health Centre, who said research indicates people who sleep fewer than six hours a day function like individuals who have have a blood alcohol level of 0.05.

“People don’t realize how impaired they are when they are sleep deprived,” he said. This is not over the current legal limit for impairment where they take you car away from you at the road side stop, Many people are driving around as if they have been drinking in the morning or even all day. There are other problems as well that lack of sleep cause.

Lack of sleep – Obesity

When you are tired all of the time, your energy levels are low. Consumers will try to compensate by eating something. They tend to consumer higher sugar based foods. Which does provide an immediate boost, but then leaves you shortly later. Many people will overeat in this manner to try and get some energy to help them get through the day. If this becomes chronic, many consumers can gain a lot of weight which really just makes the problem worse.

Overweight due to Lack of sleep leads to other health problems such as sleep apnea which leads to even less sleep, diabetes, joint problems and so on. If you are not sleeping and tending to gaining weight, you may want to be assessed for sleep apnea and other health related issues.

Lack of sleep – Heart Problems

Some consumers will consume the so called energy drinks. Your heart may be weak to start with. You may be over weight. Your arteries may be clogged and you already have serious issues. As a result consuming energy drinks could push your heart over it’s limit causing a heart attack. Lack of sleep can lead to many different issues.

Heart problems are serious. We only have one and if it gets into trouble, then your life could be at stake. If you are not sleeping, gaining weight, having heart problems it is time to visit your doctor and be assessed to see what can be done about your sleeping issues.

For more information about sleep issues and how to sleep better, click here.


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Test Troubled sleepers for Sleep Apnea

June 21st, 2014 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

Test Troubled sleepers for Sleep ApneaIf you have trouble staying awake during the day, it could be from a number of reasons. Perhaps this woman is suffering from sleep apnea. Or then again she could be working too hard and for too many hours into the night. She could be cutting into her sleep. But if every day is like this and you always seem tired there could be a problem.  If your spouse tells you that you stop breathing at night or you wake up often with a gasp you may have a problem. You just might be suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition where the tissues in the throat collapse. They plug the airways making it impossible for you to breathe when you are sleeping.

Your body goes into panic mode and wakes you up enough to take that gasp for breath. Some people will go through this cycle as many as 40 times an hour. They never really fall into a deep sleep. If you think you are this type of person, why not get tested. You will know for sure and can get a good nights sleep for a change.

Test Troubled sleepers for Sleep Apnea

The test for sleep apnea involves your doctor arranging for a test at a sleep lab. Basically you will stay over night and be hooked up to a number of devices that will monitor your breathing, your heart rate, your blood pressure and your eye movement. From the results they will be able to quickly tell if you have sleep apnea. Some people may find this uncomfortable and hard to sleep, however if you have sleep apnea you will be so tired that falling asleep is no problem.

Test Troubled sleepers for Sleep Apnea – Results

A doctor will assess the results and determine if you need a CPAP machine to help keep your airways open at night. This involves wearing a mask that is attached to a very quiet pump which pressurizes your airways. In the writers case, I was waking up 40 times an hour on average. My blood pressure shot through the roof. My heart rate also increased dramatically when I would stop breathing. This put me in danger of both a heart attack as well as a stroke,. Which are very dangerous for your health. Since I have been using the CPAP machine, I sleep great. I do not fall asleep during the day anymore and I am able to enjoy life much more instead of going around tired all of the time.

If you think you may have this issue, get tested and at least you will know and can do something about it. You can read more about sleep issues and how to deal with lack of sleep by clicking here.


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Sleep Apnea Devices

June 7th, 2014 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

Sleep Apnea DevicesHow do you know if you have sleep apnea or if you need to use a sleep apnea device? The most straightforward answer is that anyone thinking that they might have sleep apnea, should really have a sleeping test. It will assess how often they stop breathing during the night. Also what happens to their pulse rate and their blood pressure during these episodes.  Many people have sleeping disorders so it is important to be tested. Either eliminate this issue or confirm it and take action. You may have sleep apnea if you find yourself gasping for breath in the middle of the night. Or seem overly tired all of the time. Or if your spouse is concerned that you stop breathing often while sleeping. See your doctor who can schedule a sleep test for you.

You will have to spend the night at a sleep lab and be hooked up to all kinds of devices, but it is definitely worth while. People with sleep apnea often have heart attacks and strokes that are caused by not breathing properly during the night.

Sleep Apnea Devices – types

There are various manufacturers and various types of devices. The basic features that you need to have in a machine are variable pressure, ability to attach a humidifier, and accept various different types of masks so that you can pick one that is comfortable. It should also have auto turn on so that it automatically starts when you begin breathing into the mask. Finally if you live in a cold climate, you may want to have a heating feature for the hose to warm the air before you breath it.

Sleep Apnea Devices – Correct Pressure

Setting the correct pressure is probably one of the most important elements of the Sleep Apnea Device. Each person is different in the amount of restriction they may have in their throat and breathing passages. A higher pressure may be required if you have severe sleep apnea to keep your airways open while you are sleeping.

If you are concerned about wearing a mask, don’t worry, the good nights sleep that you obtain as a result will far out weight any difficulty that you may have with getting used to the mask. For more information about sleep issues, click here.


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What can cause sleeping problems

April 21st, 2014 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

What can cause sleeping problemsMany people suffer from sleeping problems and they wonder what can cause sleeping problems. Some consumers are so desperate to get a decent nights sleep that they will try just about anything. They will turn to their doctor to get a prescription for sleeping. This should really be considered a last resort after having tried a number of other steps to improve their sleeping situation.

The first thing to remember is that many of us form bad habits which get in the way of sleeping. These habits must be changed. It can take a month or more to change habits and form new habits which contribute to a better sleeping situation. If you are having trouble sleeping, you are probably looking for immediate relief. Unfortunately it just does not work that way. You should be prepared to work at getting more sleep over a months time with gradual improvement has your new habits kick in.

What can cause sleeping problems – Solutions

For example, consumers should go to bed at the same time every night to train your body to expect to go to sleep at night at the same time. Erratic sleeping times can play havoc with your bodies sleeping rhythms. Another factor can be watching TV in bed or just before you go to bed. Watching and interesting show or one that has a lot of action in it will stimulate the brain. It makes it difficult to go to sleep. Only watch TV in your family room, never in bed and if it helps read a boring book before you go to bed.

Drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks will keep a lot of people awake at night. If your one of these people avoid anything with caffeine in it in the afternoon and evening. Avoid taking any stimulants such as medications that are obtained over the counter. Sometimes allergy medicine for example will actually stimulate your system while others will cause you to be very sleepy.

Relax before Going to Bed

Get into a relaxed mood before you go to bed at night. Avoid thinking about issues in your life which may keep you awake. This can be particularly difficult to do especially if it is an emotional issue that your involved in. While it will take some mental effort you will need to focus on other things that will be more relaxing than thinking about the issues that are causing you to stay awake.

We are looking for and open to added suggestions about sleeping problems and things that cause them. If you are aware of something that works for you let us know and we will add it to this post or even create a separate post to talk about the issues of sleeping. For more information about sleep issues, click here.


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Getting enough sleep

April 7th, 2014 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

Getting enough sleepApparently none of us get enough sleep according to statisticians who measure such things. We routinely miss an hour or so of sleep without even trying. We squeeze the number o f hours available for sleep and many of us suffer from insomnia as well which causes many people to obtain insufficient sleep. Most of us worry about work, about families or issues that we are facing in our lives. If we miss sleep on a regular basis it can have an impact on our daily lives in some cases catastrophic.

Consumers are going about their daily business without getting enough sleep endangering their lives while operating machines as well as not performing as well as they should at routine jobs. When we lack sleep we are unable to concentrate as well and it is difficult to perform difficult or complex tasks. Our memories also suffer, sometimes even making it difficult to remember things that just happened to us. Short term memory loss is the first go with many people unable to remember names of people they just met or details of a meeting for example.

Getting enough sleep and Operating Machinery

When it comes to operating machinery, it can become quite dangerous. Whether it is your car or a construction machine, lack of focus, lack of attention or even falling asleep while operating a machine can create a dangerous situation for yourself as well as those around you. We know of one case where a man was so tired from lack of sleep that he would fall asleep while driving his car when he was waiting for the light to change at a stop light. Fortunately for him and people around him, his wife always drove with him and made sure he woke up at the right time. By the way she could not drive since she did not have a drivers license.

Getting Enough Sleep

If you fit into any of these examples or are having trouble getting sufficient sleep there are a number of steps to take that can help. We have listed them here, in no particular order since what works for one person may not work for the next person. Try them all for a period of time until you are sure you are getting the sleep you need. Here we go:

  • Go to bed at the same time every night
  • Read or watch something that is boring and does not stimulate you before going to bed
  • Do not watch TV in bed
  • Avoid watching TV in the middle of night
  • Do not turn on your smart phone during the night
  • Leave your smart phone in another room
  • Avoid eating a meal before going to bed
  • Establish routine so that your body expects to sleep at the same time
  • Avoid coffee and caffeine in the afternoon and evening

Let us know if you have steps that work for you in terms of helping you get enough sleep. For more information about sleep issues, click here.



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Not Getting Enough Sleep

March 21st, 2014 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

Not Getting Enough SleepWe are about to leave on a long driving trip, early in the morning. Guess what, I didn’t get much sleep last night. My situation is symptomatic of many people who are distracted by a variety of things that are going on in their lives. I think I got about three hours of sleep last night for a variety of reasons. Not getting enough sleep can have serious problems with work and driving alertness.

Partly because I was thinking about all the things that I need to do to prepare for the trip and wondering if I missed anything. My wife was going through the same calculations in her mind and was talking to me every once in a while in the middle the night thinking that I was awake as well. I had just dropped off to sleep the last time when I said stop we’ll talk about it in the morning.

Not Getting Enough Sleep – Regular Days

We can’t do much about these one of the kind events, we are thinking about the next day and you have something significant going on. What we can do though for the average day is to make sure we stick to a schedule and avoid being overstimulated just before going to bed and going to sleep.

For example, do not watch an exciting TV show or read an interesting book. Focus on being very quiet when you go to bed and if you feel that you must read, read something boring. Avoid coffee in the afternoon and evening or any other drinks that have caffeine in it.

The bottom line is to not do anything that could stimulate you to keep you awake at night. If you happen to wake up in the middle of the night, go to the bathroom or whatever it is you need to do. Avoid turning the TV on and avoiding picking up a book to read. Both of these will train your body to wake up at the same time every night and you will continue to lose sleep.

Getting enough sleep is difficult enough to do without training your system to wake up during the middle of the night. Avoid all of these things and look forward to a great night’s sleep. Some of us have to maintain a routine that prepares us for a good night’s sleep. this can mean going to bed at the same time every night, not watching TV, reading a boring book, a dark room, etc. Find out whatever works for you and make it a regular part of your daily routine.

For more information about sleep issues, click here.


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Cant Get Enough Sleep

March 7th, 2014 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

Cant Get Enough SleepMillions of Americans and Canadians do not get enough sleep every night. There are various reasons for this problem. They range from too much stimulation before hitting the sack, to chronic problems with coffee, food, sleep apnea, and many more. Lack of sleep can lead to many other associated problems. These include poor concentration at work, at home, even when driving the car or operating other machinery. Finding out what is keeping you awake and causing you to not get enough sleep is a process of elimination.

Cant Get Enough Sleep

Watching TV Can Keep You Awake

Watching an exciting movie or TV show can be enough to keep many people awake well into the night and then that alarm bell goes off telling you that it is time to get up for work. If you feel that this may be a problem for you, then try to either not watch TV at all of watch something that is truly boring which will help you drift off to sleep. Avoid watching TV in bed and if you are awake during the night, avoid watching TV during the night, it will just keep you up longer.

The same thing applies to books that you might be reading. An exciting thriller can keep someone who has a good imagination up for hours as they recall what they just read. The same thing applies for reading in the middle of the night should you wake up. If you must read, select the most boring subject you can find. This is one of the best ways to cause just about anyone to fall asleep.

Too Much Coffee

Drinking too much coffee, particularly before you go to bed or late in the afternoon will keep some people awake for hours. This applies to caffeinated soft drinks as well which have a great deal of caffeine in them. If you are having trouble sleeping and cannot get enough sleep, cut down on the caffeine in the evening and eliminate coffee and caffeine all together from your diet.

Keep a Regular Schedule

Sticking to a schedule can also train your body to expect to sleep at the same time every day and wake up at the same time every day. Try to go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every day, even on the weekends to keep your system on a schedule. It may take a few weeks to get on a schedule if you are not there now, but be patient and stick to your plan. Once you are on the schedule, stay with it, you will sleep more as a result.

Health Related Issues

There are many health related issues that can cause people to not get enough sleep. If you suspect that it is a health related issue that is causing you not to get enough sleep, see your doctor. Check the situation out. For example, sleep apnea can cause people to lack sleep. It can cause very dangerous issues to occur such as strokes and heart attacks. Operating equipment while you are extremely tired can be dangerous to you and people around you.

If you cannot get enough sleep follow up in the issue and take some action. Your life will be much more enjoyable as a result. For more information about sleep issues, click here.



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Turn Your Smart Phone off at Night

February 11th, 2014 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

Turn your Smart Phone off at Night Not Getting Enough SleepIf you are one of these people who takes their smart phone to bed with them, you may want to think twice about it. Especially if you find that you are not sleeping well at night.  There are a couple of reasons for making this suggestion. If you are having chronic non sleeping issues, then anything you can do to help you sleep should be considered. If you do not sleep well but your situation would not be considered chronic. You should also pay attention to this post. One of the best things to do is to Turn your Smart Phone off at Night. Or at least put it on do not disturb while sleeping mode.

Many people use their smart phones as an alarm clock, which by itself is not a bad thing to do.  However if someone calls during the night this phone is ringing right beside your ear and there is no escaping the phone. To avoid this problem, set it to silent mode, turn the ringer off or on iPhones set it to do not disturb so that it does not wake you up when emails arrive, text messages arrive and people call you. Your sleep is far more important than attending to anyone calling or texting you at night.

Turn Your Smart Phone off at Night

Many people also wake up during the night and will glance at the phone to see what time it is. Most smart phones will display notifications that may have been received since the last time you looked at your screen. These notifications of course attract your attention. Very quickly your mind goes from sleeping mode to being wakeful and ready for business. If one of these notifications, is at all disturbing, there is a good chance that you will quickly become awake. You may stay awake for some time as you mull the issue over in your mind.

Even if there are no notifications on the screen, many people are tempted to check on their email. Which has the same affect as looking at notifications. If the emails are work related, you will be quickly drawn into your work activities and likely not get back to sleep again. For these reasons turn off the smart phone at night or at the very least leave it somewhere it will not tempt you during the night.

If you must use the phone as an alarm clock, particularly when you travel, place it on airplane mode. Leave it that way until you are ready for the world the next day. Anyone who has trouble sleeping will certainly resonate with these concepts! For more ideas about getting a better nights sleep, click here.


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Signs of Not Getting Enough Sleep

February 10th, 2014 ernie Posted in Sleep 1 Comment »

Signs of Not Getting Enough SleepYou may not experience all of the issues we review below. However if you recognize yourself in any of these areas you may want to think about focusing on getting more sleep. If you are having trouble sleeping, getting to sleep or staying asleep, there are techniques that can be used to help people improve these situations and avoid falling into chronic sleep loss situations. The signs of not getting enough sleep are pretty obvious once you analyze yourself and your life habits.

Sleep loss once and awhile can cause some of these issues we review. However chronic sleep loss will cause these situations to occur often. You need to consider taking positive action prior to something more significant occurring. Here is a brief summary of ten of the major sleep loss symptoms which can be experienced by many people.

Signs of Not Getting Enough Sleep

Cause of Accidents – whether it is lack of attention or nodding off at the wheel, people who are over tired routinely have more work and personal related accidents than those people who get a good nights sleep. an accident can be devastating depending on the seriousness of the accident.

Dumbs you Down– being able to think quickly, remember stuff and being able to discuss complex issues can be much more difficult when you are over tired. Many students will pull all nighters studying, only to find that they cannot recall half of what they read when it comes time to write their exams. This is a classic symptom of not getting enough sleep.

Health Problems – can be initiated or become worse when you are not sleeping. Chronic loss of sleep does not give your body time to recover from loss of sleep and the days exertions. Repairs toi injuries are slowed and if you are fighting a cold for example, it can be much worse when your body does not have the energy to fight it off.

Lack of Sex Drive – for both men and women is symptomatic of lack of sleep. women complain of lack of interest in sex, while men may experience a lower level of testosterone leading to sexual dysfunctions.


Some people will experience depression when they chronically lose sleep. The world appears to be against them and everything they try is difficult and insurmountable.

Ages your Skin – chronic lack of sleep does not allow your skin to recover from the sun, etc and it will appear much older than you actually are.

Being Forgetful – forgetting even the most common things can be symptomatic of lack of sleep. If you cannot recall what you did yesterday or even a few hours ago, you may be experiencing lack of sleep in a major way.

Gaining Weight – no sleep often means low energy and we eat to gain energy to get through the day. This can lead to weight gain. In addition if we are tired all of the time, we tend to do less. Which means we burn less calories off as well.

Can Cause Death – in severe sleep loss conditions as well as leading to health conditions which leads to death. Talk to your doctor if you are not sleeping and get help before it is too late.

Impairs your Judgement – making decisions is more difficult. Recalling all of the data you need to make decisions may be difficult. It all can lead to poor decision making because your overall judgement is impaired.

Seek your doctors help if you feel that you may be experiencing these symptoms and not sleeping well. Follow some of the more common suggestions for improving sleep patterns as well. We cover these suggestions in other posts on this blog.

For information about sleep issues and what you can do about getting more sleep, click here.



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Health benefits of sleep

February 7th, 2014 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

Health benefits of sleepThe writer just slept for nine hours and seven minutes and he feels fantastic! The day before well actually the night before he only slept for five hours and 24 minutes. This is not a very good sleep at all. During the day he was a bit draggy due to lack of sleep, unable to focus and certainly unable to work in an effective manner. This was an example of the direct health benefits of sleep or not enough of it. The impacts of not getting enough sleep can be far more serious and should get everyone’s attention.

You might wonder how I know all of this and the answer is that I wear what it’s called a jawbone bracelet. It records my sleep patterns throughout the night as well’s the number of steps I take during the day. Consumers should sleep for an average of eight hours per day and walk about 10,000 steps per day to maintain a reasonable quality of life and health. But we will focus on those aspects in another post at some later time. If you are interested in the Jawbone, look it up. I have been wearing it for several months now and although it has not changed my life significantly, I am more focused on getting enough sleep and how much walking I do every day.

Health Benefits of Sleep

This post is focusing on the benefits of sleep and how one feels after getting a great nights sleep. Pretty much we all know that if you get enough sleep you will be able to function better, have better cognitive thinking, and be more attentive operating machinery which means less accidents and damages overall.

The benefits of getting enough sleep include:

  • Feeling more rested and comfortable
  • Being more alert when operating machinery and in general
  • Better health overall
  • Being able to enjoy your day and have fun
  • Having fewer arguments with your family
  • Reduced friction between colleagues and even customers

These are just a few of the benefits of getting enough sleep and the negatives associated with each of these benefits can be critical to your well being and overall safety. One friend of mine was falling asleep often while driving his car which is a very dangerous thing to do. He clearly was not getting enough sleep and has since cured his problem. Turns out that he has sleep apnea and now uses a CPAP machine which ensures that he sleeps well every night. He no longer falls asleep driving the car or at work!

For more information about getting sufficient sleep and leading a healthier lifestyle, click here.


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Effects of Not Getting Enough Sleep

October 21st, 2013 ernie Posted in Sleep 1 Comment »

Effects of Not Getting Enough SleepThe effects of not getting enough sleep can be quite dramatic and very dangerous. For example when you do not get enough sleep the tendency is to drift off to sleep while driving your car which can cause accidents. We  have read many reports about people falling asleep at the wheel and the car end up rolling over in the ditch. Also you cannot concentrate as well, you cannot remember names, or numbers and it’s very difficult to solve problems and do high school homework. The more sleep deprived you become the more difficulty you will have with all of these functions.

Routine Loss of Sleep

Many people routinely do not get enough sleep at night. They tend to stay up later, and then get up for work or go to school at the regular time. They end up being sleep deprived which can cause many physical problems, memory problems, and generally make it dangerous to drive a car. It can also make them have less patience for their friends and family causing  out bursts and arguments. It is extremely important for the average person to get at least eight hours of sleep, and they say that teenagers should have at least an average of nine hours of sleep every night.

While it may be okay to burn the midnight hours studying or working late to complete a project, regular loss of sleep will cause significant issues long-term. In fact loss of sleep over even a short time can cause loss of concentration and you risk not impressing your boss or losing a promotion. Memory starts to become compromised, concentration is difficult and you may even fall asleep at inappropriate times.

Effects of Not Getting Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep can cause people to have difficulty in concentrating. Whether it is at meetings, driving a car, or operating machinery the ability to concentrate is greatly diminished when people are sleep deprived. This can be very dangerous for those people who were having trouble staying awake. One friend of ours would fall asleep at the wheel of his car at a stoplight while he was waiting for it to turn from red to green. Can you imagine being in his car when he is driving. I don’t think so. His wife would not let him drive alone and would have to wake him up when the light turned green. He had a severe sleeping problem, however even a moderate sleeping problem can cause serious issues for many people. Fortunately he was able to rectify his sleeping issue and now routinely gets a good nights sleep.

Regular Routine of Sleep

Try to go to bed at the same time every night. Also do not watch violent programs on TV or any action oriented programs or read any exciting books. Do not use stimulants of any kind and try to get into a routine. A quiet routine in the evening will help you go to sleep at a regular time. If you are overtired try to get an extra nap during the day at lunchtime or after work. This sounds incredibly boring. But getting enough sleep so that you can function well during the day in a safe manner is very important. Read your books or watch your programs that tend to wake you up or keep you up early in the day to avoid loss of sleep and jeopardizing your daily schedule.

For more information and help regarding getting enough sleep, click here.


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Teenagers Not Getting Enough Sleep

October 7th, 2013 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

Teenagers Not Getting Enough SleepTeenagers Not Getting Enough Sleep is a pretty typical situation as shown in this picture. Most of us simply are not getting enough sleep and the reasons for this are as varied as there are individuals. There are all kinds of side effects to being tired and it affects people in many different ways, however, in this post, we decided to focus in on teenagers and what the impacts are to them when they are overtired to sustain them.

Most teens are extremely busy and will push the sleep hours to the minimum. Many people might find this a surprise since they are always waking their teens up to get them going to school or to work or to simply get them up for the day. The fact of the matter is that they never want to go to sleep since they are too busy talking or texting with their friends over the phone or corresponding or gaming on their computers. Some are in fact working late as well and then have to get up early for school which just makes the problem that much worse.

What Happens to Teenagers

Whether you are a teen or an adult if you do not get enough rest, it affects your ability to listen, concentrate and remember. It affects your ability to solve problems or do homework. Some teens who are prone to pimples may have worse outbreaks of them. Being overtired can also lead to aggressive behavior in some and even inappropriate behavior such as impatience or yelling at friends and family. Tired people eat to gain energy which can also lead to weight gain. Older teens may use more caffeine, alcohol or nicotine as a means to stay awake and tiredness can also contribute to illness. Drowsiness can occur as well behind the wheel which leads to accidents.

Some Facts About Lack of Sleep

Rest is just as important to your well being as the air you breathe or the water you drink. Most people need at least 8 hours of rest on average while teens need as much as 9 and one-half hours on average every night. Most teens will not get enough sleep due to homework, talking on the phone and hanging out with friends. Some teens who do not get enough sleep can also suffer from sleep problems such as narcolepsy, insomnia, restless legs and even sleep apnea.

Your ability to concentrate to listen and solve problems is severely compromised. Forgetting common things like well-known telephone numbers, names and numbers etc are common. Teens can be more prone to pimples. Lack of sleep can also make people have less patience, more aggressive even yelling at friends and parents. Many people will also eat unhealthy sweets and foods to gain energy and gain weight instead. Lack of sleep can contribute to accidents, illness or poor driving.

Many of these items are common to teens and adults, however because teens need more rest as a rule some of the problems can be even greater for them than adults.

How to Deal With Lack of Sleep

Teenagers Not Getting Enough Sleep can affect everyone around them as well. Everyone has a different way to deal with getting enough rest. Stay away from alcohol, pills etc. Focus on maintaining a sleep schedule. In other words go to sleep at the same time every night. If you are not sleeping keep notes about your activities. Change them if you feel that they are contributing to lack of sleep. Avoid watching TV shows that have a lot of violence or action prior to going to bed. Read relaxing stories and avoid playing video games etc. Each person must figure out what works for them and then stick to it. That’s our views on Teenagers Not Getting Enough Sleep. For more information about sleep issues, click here.


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Cause and Effect of Not Getting Enough Sleep

February 22nd, 2013 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

Cause and Effect of Not Getting Enough SleepThere are multiple cause and effect of not getting enough sleep and if pictures tell a thousand words, this one does. He is snoring away blissfully or so we think. She is really upset at not getting to sleep because of the loud snoring. There are thousands of reasons why people do not sleep. However we are going to focus on this couple and one of the reasons that both people are probably not sleeping well. She is obviously not getting enough sleep due to her partners snoring. He may not be sleeping well since snoring is the beginning of sleep apnea in most cases.

People who snore loudly are not sleeping well and if they have sleep apnea. They are having sleep disturbances quite often during the night. Which interrupts their sleep and ruins the deep sleep we all need to be well rested. In fact he could be waking up many times a night and be exhausted every morning as well. The cause and effect of not getting enough sleep can be based on sleep apnea.

What is the Cause of Not Getting Enough Sleep

In this case sleep apnea is preventing this person from breathing properly. Loose relaxed tissue at the back of the throat is closing the airway and as he breathes, is fluttering to make this loud snoring sound. In cases where it completely closes off the airway, a person will actually stop breathing until the brain, starved for oxygen, wakes the person up enough to move or swallow and begin breathing again.

This is a sleep interruption and if you are in a deep sleep, this can be very disruptive to your sleep rhythm leaving you tired and sleepy the next morning. The problem with many people with sleep apnea is that this sort of thing repeats itself many times an hour leaving a person tired and irritable the next day.

There are many other reasons why people do not sleep, however this is one situation were you need to talk to your doctor and ask for a sleep study to be done. You may need to use a CPAP machine to keep your airway open and help you sleep at night. They work well when set up properly, although they can take some getting used to.

What is the Effect of Not Getting Enough Sleep

The effects of not getting enough sleep are numerous and do not only affect yourself. As the picture above shows, this guys partner is really upset and definitely will not get enough sleep. She will be upset with him in the morning for sure and may even move to another room to get a good night’s sleep.

Relationships can suffer for this reason alone since both people are now tired, possibly short tempered and certainly not on their best behavior. There are other effects that can occur, which we list as follows:

  • Relationships suffer
  • Reduced intimacy
  • Tired at work and performance suffers
  • Reduced ability to concentrate
  • Low energy level
  • Sleep apnea can lead to stroke and heart attacks
  • Fall asleep anywhere including while driving a car or operating heavy machinery
  • Chronic lack of sleep can lead to organ problems
  • Tendency to eat more to make up for lack of energy
  • Weight gain
  • Reduced exercise

This is Also About Diet

One of the reasons we include subjects like this on this website which is all about diet and weight loss is the impact of not getting enough sleep has on your weight. We all have needed a pick me up at some point. When we are tired, some people will go for a coffee and a sugar fix to provide that instant energy source. They have a lot of calories and the body does react to this energy source, however due to our reduced activity level, because we are so tired, we gain weight.

This is just not a good scenario. The more weight we gain, the worse sleep apnea will get and the more tired we will be. It can be a vicious circle. If you have any of the symptoms that we have discussed, see your doctor and ask for a sleep test. It may be some unrelated health issue or it may be sleep apnea. At least with a sleep test you will know and can deal with that issue. With more energy to burn you may also lose weight and get in better shape which is really the objective of this website. For more information about the cause and effect of not getting enough sleep and sleep information in general, click here.


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Reasons for a Sleep Study

February 1st, 2013 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

Reasons for a Sleep StudyThe women in this picture is wired up for a sleep study at a sleep clinic which is specifically equipped to study how we sleep at night and how well we sleep. Having gone through one of these sleep studies, the writer can tell you that although it is a bit intimidating with all the wires, it is well worth the effort. If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, this can be one of the reasons for a sleep study; however there are other reasons that doctors will order this kind of study. In the writers case it was because I have a lot of allergies and I was suspected to have sleep apnea.

Reasons for a Sleep Study

Basically I was not sleeping well. I was very tired all of the time and could fall asleep almost any time that I closed my eyes, sitting up, lying down, in my office chair etc. On top of that the snoring was pretty bad and I think my spouse had had enough. After the sleep study it was confirmed that I had sleep apnea and that I should start using a CPAP machine. It was the best thing that I have done. I sleep very well now and I do not snore, thanks to my wife’s suggestion.

What Sensors are Connected During a Sleep Study

There are quite a few sensors connected during your sleep study. They are monitoring a variety of aspects which can interrupt your sleep as well as monitoring how well you sleep. They are as follows:

  • Air intake to measure your actual breathing rhythm
  • Sensors beside your eyes to measure eye movement and rem sleep
  • Sensors on your head to measure brain activity
  • Senor on your chin to measure whether you sleep with your mouth open or not
  • Sensors on your chest to measure heart rate
  • Sensors on your legs to measure how much you move your legs in the night
  • Sensor on your finger to measure the oxygen levels in your blood

This can seem like a lot and you may wonder how you will ever get to sleep with all of this stuff on. But you do go to sleep and all they need is four hours of sleep to complete a sleep study. Most sleep apnea people are pretty tired anyway and have no trouble sleeping just about anywhere. One caution if you are going in for a sleep study. Do not have a coffee after three o’clock in the afternoon and do not bring one with you to the hospital. Apparently people do this and then wonder why they cannot sleep.

Results of Sleep Study

The results of the sleep study were pretty amazing and really they justify the reasons for a sleep study in the first place. During my study, I did stop breathing at various times due to sleep apnea. When this happens, you wake up partially so your sleep is disturbed and you do not get a good sleep especially if this occurs often enough. In addition, my oxygen level lowered to dangerous levels during this time frame and my heart also sped up to a very high level. Apparently your blood pressure also sky rockets during a sleep apnea episode; however they did not measure that. All of these things can contribute to a heart attack or a stroke or both! These are the primary reasons for a sleep study. All of us want to avoid having either a heart attack or a stroke.

During my sleep study, I actually did sleep, although not well due to my ongoing sleep apnea problems, they were able to collect all of the information they needed for the doctor to assess and make a recommendation for me regarding a CPAP machine.

Impact of Using a CPAP Machine

I now have one of these machines and it has made a wonderful difference in my life. I sleep well now. Also I do not snore, and the machine is so quiet that it does not bother me or my spouse. It also has a side effect in that it helps me breathe better when my allergies are bothering me. If you have or suspect that you have sleep apnea, I strongly recommend that you go for a sleep study. You will sleep much better. You will eat less since you will not need that burst of energy you normally look for from snacking food. That means getting control of your weight as well.

For more information about sleep studies and sleep issues, click here.

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Consequences of Not Getting Enough Sleep

January 11th, 2013 ernie Posted in Sleep 2 Comments »

Consequences of Not Getting Enough SleepWhat are the consequences of not getting enough sleep? We spend approximately 1/3 of every day sleeping. One third of every day working. Also  1/3 of the day getting too and from work and looking after personal things that are going on in our lives. Quite often work takes longer. We don’t want to or cannot give up some of our personal stuff. So what happens is that we squeeze the time we have left to sleep. When we do not sleep, whether it is for the reason above, health issues or we just cannot get to sleep, we suffer in multiple ways.

Consequences of Not Getting Enough Sleep

Here is a list of what can potentially happen when we do not get enough sleep:

  • We tend to eat more food and especially snacks
  • You will gain weight from all of those snacks and reduced activity
  • You may not live as long if you get less than 5 hours a night
  • Chronic sleep loss contributes to brain shrinkage
  • Your blood pressure can increase
  • You are more susceptible to colds and getting sick
  • You may also experience memory loss
  • Being tired, you tend to skip exercise
  • People who miss their sleep tend to be more cranky
  • You are not as alert and with it


We tend to eat more food and especially snacks to make up for energy that we need to get through the day and our coffee intake goes way up as well to help us get through the day.

You will gain weight from all of those snacks and reduced activity and this is weight that is difficult to reduce once it is on because we simply do not have the energy to exercise and work it off.

You may not live as long if you get less than 5 hours a night. Based  on studies that have been conducted, people who are sleep deprived on a chronic level tend not to live as long for a variety of reasons. Some are accident related due to lack of concentration while others just get sick more often and it eventually catches up with them.

Brain Shrinkage

Chronic sleep loss contributes to brain shrinkage or less dense brains which impacts memory retention and decision making abilities.

Your blood pressure can increase as much as 40% which is a significant problem if your family history is prone to strokes and other heart related diseases.

You are more susceptible to colds and getting sick when you are run down. The body just does not have the strength to fight viruses off and we end up being sick much more often.

You may also experience memory loss, both short term and long term memory which makes us far less productive in our daily lives.

Being tired, you tend to skip exercise which contributes to weight gain even more.

People who miss their sleep tend to be more cranky and grouchy. We are more short tempered and have a lot less patience for ourselves as well as others. This can hurt our social relationships a great deal.

You are not as alert and with it when you are sleep deprived. As a result more people with this condition are prone to accidents, falling asleep at work and other problems which can lead to very serious accidents causing bodily harm and even death.

What Can a Person Do to Get More Sleep

Several of our previous posts have outlined a number of steps that people can consider to get more sleep. There also could be an underlying health issue such as sleep apnea. Which we have also written about that affects many people and contributes to all of the above problems previously mentioned. If you have eliminated all of the non health reasons that may be affecting your sleep, see a doctor. He or she will assess health issues that could cause this. Sleep Apnea is only one condition that could cause this problem.

We are writing posts like these because we know that diet and weight gain can be caused by many different conditions and we want to make people aware of the consequences of not getting enough sleep and what they can do about it. We also feel that many people have sleep apnea and do not know about it. As a result they suffer daily from lack of sleep and are potentially prone to heart attacks and strokes as a result. Have your condition checked by a doctor to see if there is any underlying cause for your lack of sleep.

For more information about the Consequences of Not Getting Enough Sleep and other sleep issues, click here.


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The Effects of Not Getting Enough Sleep

December 28th, 2012 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

How Much Sleep do You NeedThe effects of not getting enough sleep are clearly depicted in this cartoon picture. How many of us can relate to this picture were we have fallen asleep at the most improbable times causing us to be embarrasses or worse. There are dangers with falling asleep at the wrong time and it is important to address this issue before a serious accident occurs.

Falling asleep at your desk is not a huge problem as far as risk goes, but what about falling asleep while driving your car or operating some kind of power tool or machinery.  This can be catastrophic, even dangerous to life. your own and others are put at risk when you fall asleep while driving or operating machinery.

There are health risks as well. Mild sleep deprivation will cause everything to slow down, thought processes and metabolism. We eat more to give us energy and this result sin weight gain and all of the associated issues that this can generate. From high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, joint problems and much more.  These in turn can cause strokes and heart attacks and a spiral downwards if it really gets serious.

Many people have to deal with this problem every day. Some sleep deprivations is caused by eating habits, life style and then there are underlying health issues. If you feel that you have eliminated things like caffeine and other life style causes such as exercise late at night, then there might be an under lying health related condition that you may want to have your doctor look at.  Before you go to the doctor check out all of the things that people can do to help them sleep better. We have listed a few below which you can work on, but if these do not work, then it is time to get help. Don’t hesitate especially if you are chronically fatigued. Get help from your doctor.

What Can You Do to Deal with the Effects of Not Getting Enough Sleep

The primary thing to do is to focus on getting more sleep. You may be already doing some of these things, however try them all to see what works and what does not work. Also manage your expectations. It may take a week or two before you begin to see results. You basically need to retrain your body to sleep more. here is a list of steps people can consider to help them sleep better:

  • Eliminate caffeine from your diet – coffee, tea, chocolate etc
  • Eliminate alcohol at least 5 hours before going to bed
  • Avoid eating before you go to bed
  • Avoid watching the news, or stimulating movies before going to bed
  • Select things that are calming to you before going to bed – a dull book is great
  • Avoid exercise for 4 hours before going to bed
  • Focus on relaxing prior to bed
  • Do not turn on the TV or radio in the middle of the night if you wake up

There may be other steps people use to help them relax before going to bed. Send us a comment if you have other steps that work for you. But we hope you get the idea in regards to preparing for sleep at night. If after a month of this type of regime you find that you still are not sleeping, check in with the doctor. Take notes of what you have been doing and how much you have been sleeping along with any medications that you might be taking. All of this information will be helpful to the doctor when they make an assessment.

Under Lying Health Issues

There can be lots of reasons for not sleeping caused by health issues. The trick is to eliminate all of the possibilities to ensure that there is nothing related to health issues. For example the writer has sleep apnea. This kept myself as well as my partner awake for hours and when we did sleep we would wake up often because of the snoring and the gasping when I did not breathe.

Once I dealt with this issue, I no longer snore and both of us now get an excellent nights sleep! The answer in my case is a CPAP machine with a nasal pillow mask. This solved the problem and now I feel rested every day and get a fantastic nights sleep. This is only one example of how a health issue can cause someone to not get enough sleep. It has lowered my blood pressure, lowered by heart rate and caused me to eat less during the day as well because I now have the energy that I need.

Don’t hesitate, deal with your sleep loss now, since the effects of not getting enough sleep can effect your family and your work! For more information about the health effects of not getting enough sleep, click here.



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Risks of Not Getting Enough Sleep

December 14th, 2012 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

Impact of long work hours on SleepThe risks of not getting enough sleep are many and as this poor guy shown in the picture knows, it is very difficult to stop yawning. People do not get enough sleep for many reasons and lack of sleep can effect your health, your diet and of course your weight. We decided to include this topic of getting enough sleep on this blog. It plays such a strong role in our ability to lose weight and maintain our health.

We will cover some of the standard reasons people have a hard time getting the sleep they need. Then focus in on one particular reason which is sleep apnea.  We will also make a few suggestions to help people with being able to sleep better. However, we would like to warn readers that the should seek a doctor’s care if they have health-related issues which need to be treated. this includes sleep apnea.

What are the Reasons People do Not Get Enough Sleep

  • Using stimulants such as coffee and caffeinated drinks that keep us awake
  • Watching TV shows that are too exciting before we go to bed
  • Exercise before we go to bed
  • Not relaxing and maintaining a routine before bedtime
  • Health-related issues such as sleep apnea and others

As we mentioned if you have dealt with all of the other things within your control, then you may want to see a doctor examine other reasons you may not be able to sleep.

What are The Risks of Not Getting Enough Sleep

There are degrees of sleep loss and if you do not deal with them, you can experience significant problems in your life. The average person who does not get enough sleep is just tired all of the time. While significant sleep loss can lead to much more serious issues. Consumers who do not get enough sleep can or may experience some of these risks of not getting enough sleep or all of  the following problems:

  • Yawning a lot
  • Falling asleep at your desk, office or in a meeting
  • Sleeping at the wheel while driving
  • Falling asleep at work in situations that could be dangerous
  • Eating a lot to give yourself energy leads to weight gain
  • Weight gain leads to other health issues such as:
    • Diabetes
    • Heart disease
    • High blood pressure
    • Strokes
    • etc

The one example that really made an impact on the writer was when a friend of mind told me that he regularly falls asleep at the wheel of his car when he stops at a red light. He does not drive alone. He always drives with his wife in the car to make sure that he stays awake. Otherwise, he would be a menace on the road. Can you imagine being in his car when he cannot stay awake! Every year we hear of hundreds of accidents were people fall asleep and are killed in an auto accident. This is probably one of the most serious of risks of not sleeping properly.

Why Do People Not Get enough Sleep

We listed a number of possible causes above, however, we want to focus on one big reason for many people. It is sleep apnea. Basically someone with Sleep apnea never gets a good night’s rest and will stop breathing in some situations for short periods, only to wake up gasping, frightening him or herself and their partners.

When this occurs often enough, people suffering from sleep apnea never get enough sleep and are perpetually tired. This was what was wrong with my friend who falls asleep at the wheel at stoplights. The answer to this particular problem was to have a sleep test conducted and an analysis of why he was not sleeping.

Once sleep apnea was diagnosed, and he started with a CPAP machine he slept much better and drives much more safely.  We are not suggesting that everyone who is tired all of the time has sleep apnea. What we are suggesting is that sometimes you need to be assessed by a doctor to find out if there is any medical reason for being exhausted all of the time. It could be any number of reasons and it is important to rule them out and also obtain a solution.

Your quality of life will be much improved once you solve the issue of why you are not sleeping and getting a good nights rest. In fact you will wonder why you waited so long to do something about it. For more information about the risks of not getting enough sleep, click here.



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How to Get More Sleep

November 9th, 2012 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

how to get more sleep Getting enough sleepEveryone wants to get a good nights sleep/ Many millions of dollars are spent every year by people on various drugs and gimmicks that sometimes work. Everyone wants to know how to get more sleep? There are those that are just gimmicks and really do not help us at all. There are lots of things we can do to help us sleep. We will list these in no particular order. However if they do not work and you are still having problems, it might be a good idea to arrange for a sleep study to really find out what is happening when you are sleeping at night.

For something we spend half our life doing, a lot of us are pretty awful at sleeping. Even if we think we are sleeping, we may have interruptions that prevent us from getting a good nights sleep.  Here are  10 tips for falling asleep faster, staying asleep, getting quality rest, and waking up feeling rested in the morning.

How to Get More Sleep

Prepare a Comfortable Bed

The idea is to do everything you can to make sure that you have a fighting chance at having a good night and the first place to start is ensuring that  you are comfortable.

Here is a quick list to check on for how to get more sleep:

  • Get the right pillow based on your body type,
  • Buy a new mattress that is comfortable even if it costs a bit more
  • Find one that is firm enough, yet soft enough to make you feel comfortable
  • Make sure there is sufficient room for you and your spouse

 Eat Properly

This is great for your diet too, but really important for having a good night. Here is a list of things to consider re-eating properly:

  • Eat breakfast first thing in the morning.
  • Eat a large breakfast
  • Consume foods that are good for you
  • Eat relatively small meals at night and do not snack at night
  • Avoid eating spicy or junk foods at night,
  • Choose something that will help you drift off.
  • No booze, booze relaxes you and causes you to snore all night and can make problems with sleep apnea even worse

Wake Up Pleasantly to Music, Not Roughly to an Alarm

A nice even wake up that gradually brings you into waking mode is much better than be jerked awake by an alarm sound. Avoid coffee if you can or at least large amounts of it, especially late in the day as well.

Exercise in the Morning

Exercising in the morning or afternoon is best, since your body has time to recover and learn to relax again. Exercise at  night will keep you awake for longer periods until you can relax enough to go to sleep.

Find Your Best Sleeping Position

We tend to sleep in various positions throughout the night, however some are better for us than others in terms of getting the best sleep. If a person snores a lot, they may find that they will get a better sleep when laying on their sides instead of on their backs, and they may snore less as well.

Find a way to Cool Yourself Off at Night

No one sleeps well at night when they are too hot. Even a room air conditioner will make a difference or a fan. If your partner is radiating heat, it may be time to get a larger bed or move to another room to ensure that you both get a good nights sleep.

Get the Right Amount of Sleep for Your Body

You can never catch up on all of your sleep. it is far better to get that 7.5 hours on average every night. Some people need much more even up to 9 hours of sleep at night. Experiment until you know how much you need and then try to get to bed in time so that you can sleep as much as you need before you need to get up for work.

Twenty Minute Power Naps can be Golden

Napping during the day is really great. I know, I have done it many times and it feels great. But if you sleep too long or too close to bedtime, then it can really ruin your sleep and keep you up at night. Try to control your naps and keep them short, maybe 15 to 20 minutes at the most early in the afternoon. Avoid sleeping after supper if you want to have a good nights sleep.

Your evening Routine is Important

Avoid a lot of excitement during the evening, exciting shows, late night sports etc. Reading a boring book and relaxing in a bath help a lot of people get there sleep.

Technology Can Help and So Can the Medical Community

There are apps that will track your sleep so you can monitor how much you actually are sleeping. Having a sleep assessment at your local hospital will either rule out things like sleep apnea or if you are diagnosed, it might save your life. Not only will you stop snoring, but you will reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes with proper diagnoses and treatment.

For more information on how to get more sleep, click here.


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Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

October 5th, 2012 ernie Posted in Sleep 1 Comment »

Sleep apnea treatment optionsSleep apnea treatment options vary, however the common one seems to be utilizing a CPAP machine to help keep the airways open. When the snoring gets so bad that your spouse says go to the other bedroom, or you wake up gasping for air, it just might be time to see your doctor about a sleep study.

I have just been prescribed one of these machines and I am learning a lot about sleep apnea and wanted to share it with other readers. Note that if you suspect that you have it, see your doctor.

What I have learned so far is that when you go to sleep, the muscles in your neck relax and sag to the back of your throat, blocking the airway to your lungs as shown in the picture. When this happens you stop breathing and carbon dioxide begins to build up in your blood stream until the brain realizes what is going on and causes a muscle spasm, waking you up and causing you to breathe. My respiratory therapist told me that I would not suffocate this way, because the brain goes into panic mode and will wake you up before you suffocate. That is the good news.

During this time when carbon dioxide is building up, your heart begins to race and your blood pressure can also become very high. This makes people with sleep apnea prone to heart attacks and also to strokes.  These issues can be very serious and actually make your life far worse than it already is due to lack of sleep. If you are experiencing these symptoms mentioned in preceding paragraphs, go see your doctor!

Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

I have read some information about operations that can be done, however there is no guarantee and the operation could damage your voice box. An operation is very invasive and not a decision that should be taken lightly. Most people associate sleep apnea with people who are overweight. However apparently slim people can also have sleep apnea and 4% of men have it along with 2% of women. Having an operation is not something I even thought about, preferring to follow my doctors suggestion and follow another option.

The other option is a CPAP machine which is not invasive at all. Although it looks cumbersome and most people will have to learn to adjust to it. But once you do most people will be very happy with it.

Basically it is a machine that pressurizes your airways and keeps then from collapsing. People stop snoring completely and they stop all signs of sleep apnea after a few weeks, provided that they wear the mask and use the CPAP machine properly. I can attest to this since my spouse told me that I have not snored since I started using the device. I am still adjusting to wearing the mask, but then that is to be expected.

Types of CPAP Masks

All of the masks require that you wear straps around your head to hold the mask in place and if you happen to be a mouth breather, you will need a chin strap as well. There basically 3 kinds of masks as I have come to understand it. There is the nasal pillow mask, the full nose mask and the full face mask.

The nasal pillow mask basically fits to your nostrils with an opening to each one. It is held in place by two straps and is very soft and form fitting to the nose. The first night mine was too tight and my nose was sore in the morning. Since then I have loosened it slightly and everything has been fine since.

The full nose mask covers your nose and creates a tight seal to the skin around your nose. It is also held in place by straps. For me it is a bit more cumbersome looking. Since I sneeze a lot, I decided that it was not for me. Not sure how the nasal pillow one will work when I sneeze. But I guess I will cross that bridge when we get to it.

The full face mask covers the nose area and the mouth. There are straps holding in place and is ideal for people who are uncomfortable with something close to their nose. It provides the option of breathing through your nose or your mouth and is ideal for mouth breathers. I cough a lot as well and this one did not appeal to me for that reason preferring to cough into the air rather than into the mask.


This is what I know so far about the masks. So far after five weeks I am comfortable with the nasal pillow mask. As a result I plan to stick with it for the time being unless something changes. My government insurance plan pays 75% of the cost. My personal insurance pays 80% of the rest, so the cost will not be too bad on a personal level. Replacement masks and hoses will be covered in the same manner as far as I know. More to come about CPAP machines and sleep apnea. For more information about sleep issues and sleep apnea, click here.

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Dangers of Not Getting Enough Sleep

September 30th, 2012 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

Dangers of Not Getting Enough SleepThere are many dangers of not getting enough sleep for people who cannot get enough sleep due to their jobs, health issues and possibly bad habits that develop over time in our daily lives. For example having a coffee within a couple of hours before you go to bed can keep a lot of people up for hours or even cause them to wake up during the night as their bodies process the caffeine in the coffee. There are many reasons regarding why people do not get enough sleep, however we will focus on some of the dangers associated with sleep deprivation and then review some of the steps you can take to try to get better sleep.

Symptoms and / Or Causes of not Getting enough sleep

The dangers of not getting enough sleep can involve the following which we will expand on further:

  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Depression
  • Weight Gain
  • Heart Disease
  • Death


Chronic fatigue can affect us in many different ways. We are obviously not as alert as we should be which makes us prone to having more accidents of all kinds including while driving a car, working at physical jobs and just not being alert when we cross the street for example.

Our bodies also suffer. In fact every organ in our body will be impacted by lack of sleep which if allowed to go on for a long time can also have very negative effects on our overall health. When we are sick we will be sicker, even cancers can advance more quickly when our bodies are too tired to fight diseases of all kinds.


Even pain from things like arthritis, cuts, broken bones, etc will feel far worse when we are tired. Our ability to deal with the pain is impaired and we just do not have the patience as well.


People can become very depressed as well. If you are prone to depression, fatigue and lack of sleep will only make this worse.

Weight Gain

We tend to eat more when we are tired. Our bodies crave energy to make up for the lack of sleep and tired feeling. We eat more and we gain weight as well more so when we are tired  all of the time we gain weight.

Heart Disease

The risk of heart disease goes up as well due to our bodies being under stress due to lack of sleep. If you have underlying heart disease from other issues, this can only make it worse.


Chronic lack of sleep can trigger events in your body that might not otherwise occur. Heart attacks, strokes etc can be triggered by chronic fatigue and lack of sleep.

How to get More Sleep

We just watched a short documentary on getting enough sleep and what the impacts can be if you do not get enough sleep. They suggested that the short list of steps to take to help ensure that you get a good sleep every night is as follows:

  • Go to bed at the same time every day
  • Get up at the same time every day, including weekends
  • Limit alcohol to no more than 3 drinks two hours before you go to bed
  • Limit exercise  to greater than 4 hours before you go to bed
  • Try to keep the same routine

If you sleep in on the weekends, after two days, your body adjusts and expects to sleep in on Monday. This is probably why Mondays are always so hard and difficult for people. Their bodies are expecting to sleep in, but cannot because they have to get up earlier and go to work. They begin the work week feeling tired and fatigued and not totally alert.

The dangers of not getting enough sleep  can be decreased by sticking to a routine. Avoid any kind of stimulants and also depressant such as alcohol. If these steps do not work, then there could be some other underlying health issue. It could be preventing people from getting a good nights sleep. For example in older people above the age of 45, sleep apnea can be a major cause of not getting enough sleep which contributes to fatigue and other health issues.

If you have tried all of the above and you are still not getting enough sleep it may be wise to check in with your family doctor to asses any other reasons that might be preventing you from sleeping. For more information about the dangers of not getting enough sleep, click here.


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CPAP Mask Nasal Pillows

September 7th, 2012 ernie Posted in Sleep 1 Comment »

If you snore a lot, stop breathing during your sleep, snort or gasp while sleeping or feel really tired during the day, then there is a chance that you have sleep apnea. I now have a CPAP machine and chose the CPAP Mask Nasal pillows approach. Which has worked out very well for me over the past year.

I had just been diagnosed with sleep apnea and wanted to share what I have learned about this health problem with other people who might have the same problem. I had all of the above symptoms and my wife would routinely poke me in the middle of the night when I would stop snoring, because she knew that I had stopped breathing. Sounds pretty severe and it turns out that it was. I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea after having completing a sleep test at a local hospital.

If you have any doubts about this at all, get a doctors opinion as to whether you should go for a sleep test. It could save your life and also improve your quality of life significantly. Turns out that sleep apnea patients are prime candidates for heart attacks and strokes as well as other problems. Don’t fool around get that sleep test today.

CPAP Mask Nasal Pillows

I will talk about my sleep test and diagnosis in future posts, however I wanted to discuss the nasal pillows which is what I have opted for. The picture above shows what the mask looks like. It actually is not really a CPAP mask. Instead it is a small device that fits on the front of your nose with two outlets, one for each nostril. they are soft and flexible and fit comfortably on the front of your nose.

The entire nasal pillows are held in place with straps that go around your head to hold it in place. A hose connects the CPAP machine with the nasal pillows. I found the first night I had the straps too tight and it hurt my nose a bit. After loosening the straps I settled into a comfortable position as far as the straps were concerned.

There is a bit of getting used to having this contraption strapped to your head. However for me, right from the first night I had a better sleep than I have had in years. My wife tells me that I do not snore at all, which she likes very much. There is no gasping at all or snorting and I can breath really well.

I have used the CPAP mask now for 10 days and although I am still adjusting to using a CPAP every night, I find that I am really comfortable with the mask, the hose and the machine. I am sleeping the best I have done in years and feel much more rested than ever before.

New CPAP Machines are Quiet

One of the things we were concerned about is whether the CPAP machine would be noisy and keep my wife awake at night. We usually have a fan running in our bedroom at night to keep the air moving to provide some circulation.  Turns out that the CPAP machine is quieter than the fan. In fact it is so quiet that we barely hear it even when the fan is turned off.

Today’s CPAP machines are very quiet and comfortable. They also come with humidifiers to keep your mouth and nose hydrated as well. They have a little chip that records a lot of information about your sleeping habits, how well you are doing from a sleep apnea perspective and much more. We will talk about this in future posts, but it is safe to say that I am amazed at how much information they can learn about how well you are doing relative to how well you are sleeping.

Monitoring by Your Therapist

It is important to stay in touch with your sleep therapist who will adjust the pressure to match your condition properly. They will also discuss the nasal pillow approach vs. a full mask which are necessary for some people. I choose the nasal pillows, because I did not want to have a mask and it turns out that for me the nasal pillows are working out very well.

Some people will need a full mask because they breath through their mouths from time to time or they are uncomfortable with the nasal pillows. It is all about comfort so select something that works well for you and that is comfortable. Some people will apparently require a chin strap to help them keep their mouths closed while using the nasal pillows. So far I have not had to go to this approach, since I generally keep my nose closed.

Weight Is not an Issue

I wanted to end this post by saying that weight does not seem to be an issue. I am told that people who are thin can have problems with sleep apnea, however if you are overweight there is a higher probability that you will have problems with snoring and sleep apnea. Your throat and nasal passages will be that much thicker which can cause snoring.

Please do not hesitate. If you have a sleep apnea problem, see your doctor and have a sleep study completed to see if you have a problem. You could have avoid a stroke or heart attack! For more information about sleep issues, click here.


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How Much Sleep do You Need

June 7th, 2011 ernie Posted in Sleep No Comments »

How Much Sleep do You NeedHow Much Sleep Do You Really Need? We have noticed especially with our friends that the older they get the less sleep they seem to need. We are not sure if they just cannot get to sleep or they need less than otherspeople. I remember my mother saying that she spent a lot of sleepless nights as she got older. She always looked really tired too. Now my wife and I are starting to experience the same thing. If we get have a good night, we are so amazed and thankful! Is this what we have to look forward too as we get older. How much do You Need is a constant issue for us now that we are older. But even young people need to be concerned about getting enough rest.

One night my wife went to the casino around 1 AM with our neighbors. That’s right one o’clock in the morning. She thought the place would be empty. Was she ever wrong? It was filled with seniors!

Not everyone requires the same amount of sleep to get by, however, the rule of thumb seems to be an average of 7 hours a night. If you are not getting this much rest then you may become sleep deprived which can cause all kinds of problems. If you can awaken feeling refreshed without an alarm clock, then you are probably doing ok.

How Much Sleep do You Need

Some people need more rest than others. This need is based on genes, age, sex, and previous sleep amount, among other things. It also varies across the life cycle.

Sleep Deprivation and Health

Sleep loss increases the risk of high blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, and diseases associated with these risk factors, such as diabetes and heart disease. It can also impair the performance and mood.

The effects of sleep loss build-up without us even being aware of it  and results in decreased performance, poor mood, and health problems.

Sleep deprivation, too, can have deadly consequences such as falling asleep while driving and many deadly accidents occur every year.

Determining Your Sleep Needs

There are a number of ways to test if you are getting sufficient rest. You may already know the answer, but here are a few ways to test your assumptions:

  • Do you need an alarm clock to wake?
  • Try going to bed 15 minutes earlier. Do you still need an alarm clock? If you do, push your bedtime up another 15 minutes.
  • Do you need caffeine to stay awake, if yes you are probably not getting enough rest?
  • Do you have  issues such as sleep apnea that are affecting your rest? Sleep apnea is marked by intermittent pauses in breathing while in bed.
  • Do awake refreshed
  • Do you always feel tired
  • Do you fall asleep on the couch after supper

There are many ways to tell if you are getting enough good quality sleep and if you think that you are not, you may want to consider changing your lifestyle to enhance your sleeping patterns. You may also want to check with a doctor if you feel that there are some other underlying reasons for not getting sufficient sleep. How much sleep do you need?

What Works for People

Not everything works for everybody, since we are different. You might want to try some of these to see if they help you”

  • Get into a routine before going to bed
  • Read for a while in bed, only boring stuff
  • Turn the TV off and don’t watch TV in bed
  • Your bed room should be a place of tranquility
  • Avoid caffeine  from lunchtime on
  • Stay away from any stimulants
  • Take a shower or bath before going to bed
  • Don’t watch exciting shows just before you go to bed

If you know of other ideas, that work for you, please leave your comments. Our readers will appreciate any help they can get to help them sleep more and better. Start by figuring out how much sleep do you need and go from there.


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