Why I’ll sacrifice my sleep for the football

Why I’ll sacrifice my sleep for the football

Accepted. Sleep House has not seen too much sleep over the past few weeks – what with hot weather and the World Cup.

I’m not a massive football fan, but I’m massively patriotic, so I’m writing this, sitting here in red, white and blue…

And there is part of me that doesn’t want to write this blog – after all, I’m one of the loudest supporters cheering at the England team as they progress through the World Cup. I’m not poo-pooing their performance – goodness no. However, whether they lose or win, I know it will impact my sleep.

When we win 😉 I’ll have a few cheeky drinkies and as we know, alcohol might make you fall asleep faster, but that sleep is really poor quality – hence you wake up feeling unrested, and with the munchies. If we lose, there will be some commiseratory drinkies and the same will apply. So, is it just me that will drink too much? Maybe the current CO2 shortage impacting beer supply is a good thing to coincide with this worldwide tournament! Even if beer isn’t your thing, any alcohol will do the same.

But even if I gave up the alcohol, my anxiety levels are pretty high… peaking for the 90 minutes (plus stoppages) of the match… and that hormone change has an impact, particularly important for those evening matches!

So, what can we do about this?

  1. Reduce the alcohol, have lower alcohol versions – this is a good idea anyway so we don’t dehydrate with the higher temperatures. Intersperse alcohol with long soft drinks.
  2. Try to compensate – on the nights off from football, have no alcohol, and try to get more rest – you probably can’t control your wake time (employers like us turning up), so control your bedtime. Try to control your bedroom temperature. It sounds counter-intuitive, but only open the windows early morning and the evening to get cooler air in the house, and for most of the day keep the curtains/blinds drawn and windows closed to keep the heat out and that cooler air in.

Some people will say “naaaaa” and stay with the multiple drinks and not worry about the headache. If you decide to live with the tiredness tomorrow, the munchies and the slightly tighter waistband from ‘wasted’ calories (should that be ‘waisted’?) then consider adopting point two above! Also remember that if you consume alcohol, you’re more likely to snore – so expect a few extra bruises on the ribs from the other half! [Find out how to reduce snoring here]

I’m going to try 1 and 2 and accept that my sleep is not going to be as good as it could be for a while. I’ll also book in time for early nights and to recover in-between.

Come on England… I’ll gladly sacrifice my sleep on this occasion to support our World Cup campaign!
(And hope for the magic sponge to cool me down during this heatwave!)

NHS Tough Choices – Surgery for Snoring to be chopped?

NHS Tough Choices – Surgery for Snoring to be chopped?

The NHS is having to make more tough choices

Emma is passionate about helping people and trying to make things better. With a unique perspective on healthcare and sleep, she also blogs as The Snoring Lady.

Emma Easton

Head of Amazing, Snorer.com

That’s not particularly newsworthy, but one headline today caught my eye on the BBC “NHS to stop ‘ineffective’ treatments”. new window Well – my gosh, surely if they are ineffective they should have been stopped years ago.

NHS England’s Proposals

There are four immediately identified treatments that are proposed to be restricted, one of which is surgery for snoring. Here at Sleep House, we know quite a bit about snoring, so it will be interesting to see the detail of these proposals – such as whether this is for hard or soft tissue or both, any other parameters etc.

But, it remains a fact that in 2005, an esteemed Cochrane review found;

the available evidence from [a number of] small studies does not currently support the widespread use of surgery in people with mild to moderate daytime sleepiness associated with sleep apnoea.”

And if that is the position for mild to moderate apnoea, it would seem reasonable to suggest that the situation would be the same for snoring, given that snoring is one of the main symptoms of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and valid proven treatments for OSA exist.

How many other reports like this are being worked through to find ways to cut costs?

No doubt some excellent savings ideas will be found – but I worry that decisions could be made on an initial cost basis – without considering the long term implication. Hopefully the consultation process will address these concerns – but then how much do the consultations processes cost?!

Further to that, if the proposals go through, there is potential that asking for a particular treatment could become a postcode lottery where it is easier to make such a request in one region than another. Consider this, if your GP or specialist doctor didn’t offer a treatment you’d heard about, would you feel comfortable asking for your request to be considered or reconsidered? I suspect most people would not.

Awareness issue?

We know that the NHS is going to have to change, and I personally want to see it continue. I’m a massive fan, particularly having availed myself of its’ services for childbirth, and a handful of A&E visits for my family (hey – kids will be kids). What staggers me is that sometimes there are effective options – from a cost and patient outcome perspective, that remain largely unknown.

With snoring, for example, (and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea), there is a treatment that does not involve surgery, and in very simple terms, holds the lower jaw forward, which in turn holds the airway open, stopping the snoring. (I could get more technical, but that will do for now). Many doctors don’t know this is a valid treatment option, and it isn’t known by most dentists who, once trained, could prescribe this treatment.

So why is this?

Sleep, is still not a part of core medical or dental training… so how on earth can we expect our doctors to know much about it.

I hope that the cost cutting and optimisation exercise that the NHS is going through at the moment has a phase to it that looks at treatment options, that turns to the available research to publically recognise and actively promote alternative or relatively unknown treatment pathways that continue the legacy of serving patients, and doing so in such a way that it is cost effective to the public purse.

All trademarks belong to their respective owners and are acknowledged.

Post created by Emma Easton. Last updated 3rd July 2018.

NHS related posts

Here are some related NHS, sleep and regulatory posts from Snorer.com

The Destruction of GP/Patient trust – Guidelines from the GMC

The DVLA and General Medical Council (GMC) in March 2016, reinforced the fact that it is the individual’s responsibility to cease driving and inform the DVLA, should anything impact upon ability to drive safely. They went on to impose a significant and impossible burden on the GP.

read more

References

  1. Sundaram S., Lim J., Lasserson T.J., (2005) Surgery for obstructive sleep apnoea in adults (review), Cochrane database of systematic reviews, issue 4. Available here: http://www.cochrane.org/CD001004/AIRWAYS_surgery-for-obstructive-sleep-apnoeahypopnoea-syndrome

Over to you

Is there a solution? How would you solve the conundrum of spiralling budgets and patients’ expectations?

Leave a comment below right now.

Fancy a lecture at 8 in the morning? OMG!

Fancy a lecture at 8 in the morning? OMG!

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Fancy a lecture at 8am?

Today I saw the headline:

“Durham University students angry at plans for 8am start.”1

The university is reportedly considering plans to start lectures early to support a growing cohort of students and that this would be a temporary measure while additional lecture theatre space is built.

I find this suggestion quite surprising.

There is plenty of research that suggests students perform better with a later morning start2, and indeed that grades can suffer with insufficient sleep when circadian rhythms are not taken into account.3,4

Emma has had a varied career across numerous sectors. The common element has been helping people and making processes simple. This is one of the skills she brings to Snorer.com.

Emma Easton MA BA(Hons) PgC

Head of Amazing, Snorer.com

As we know, university students tend to be socially active in the evening, making an earlier start for lectures impractical. (Not all students are ‘night owls’ but there tend to be more evening activities than breakfast ones!)

The university student union has accused the management team of being driven by student fees rather than students. If the new building works will only take a year, then why not delay expansion for a year so that the estimated 1,0005 students are not impacted?

I’d suggest that if grades are likely to be negatively impacted by bringing the start of the lecture day forward, then, given results/league tables, this seems like a bit of an own goal! [ARGH I made a football reference during the World Cup!]

Apparently, the student body has not been consulted on this6, and there must be other ways round this… surely universities are the places where problems get solved not created?!

student celebrating

Recommendations

  • How about trialling running lectures one hour later into the day if that supports increased lecture rotations?
  • What about running them over a lunch period, or streaming a lecture so that students with caring responsibilities can watch on demand, or that safety doesn’t become an issue by students walking to lectures in the dark during the winter?

Heck, I’ve only been thinking about this for about 5 minutes! (I’m sure I could be available for a consultancy fee! Haha!)

Part of student life involves making the most of the social aspect of university life, as well as the academic. This proposal seems to stifle the former and in turn could result in negative outcomes for Durham students which will impact the university’s reputation.

This can’t be what the bosses are looking for. Hopefully they will reconsider their idea.

Sleep on it Guys!

How about a siesta instead?!

#KnowSleep

sleep

Related posts

Here’s a delightful selection of lifestyle and circadian rhythm posts from the Snorer.com blog.

Fancy a lecture at 8 in the morning? OMG!

Today I saw the headline: “Durham University students angry at plans for 8am start.” The university is reportedly considering plans to start lectures early to support a growing cohort of students and that this would be a temporary measure while additional lecture theatre space is built. I find this suggestion quite surprising.

There is plenty of research that suggests students perform better with a later morning start2, and indeed that grades can suffer with insufficient sleep when circadian rhythms are not taken into account.

read more

Why can’t I say ‘FAT’?

FAT. There it is, I’ve said it. Yet, the word ‘fat’ is such a divisive word, it carries such stigma, that it has become a word you can’t say out loud. In this post, Adrian discusses the rise of PC culture and the corresponding rise of obesity. Are they inevitably intertwined?

read more

References about students, sleep and circadian rhythm

  1. BBC Durham University students angry at plans for 8am start https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-44617875 new window [accessed 28th June 2018]
  2. Google scholar link to multiple studies illustrating LATER start times for students make sense: https://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?q=university+students+sleep+patterns&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart new window [accessed 28th June 2018]
  3. Independent. ‘Night owl’ students perform worse academically due to ‘social jet lag’, study finds https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/students-night-owl-academic-results-worse-university-sleep-late-body-clock-study-a8286176.html new window [accessed 28th June 2018]
  4. 3.4 million real-world learning management system logins reveal the majority of students experience social jet lag correlated with decreased performance https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-23044-8 new window [accessed 28th June 2018]
  5. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-44617875
  6. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-44617875