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!)

Sleep in the News

Ed Miliband diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

In a startling breach of medical data confidentiality, I read about how Ed Miliband MP was diagnosed with OSA.

Tempting as it is to conjure up a more dramatic headline about the Labour party and Sleep… I will confine myself to merely pointing out that Ed Milliband is in the news as apparently having obstructive sleep apnoea. I find it curious how ENT has become involved.

The second story in the news involves some interesting ‘advice’ about sleep as one of the ‘Seven Daily Sins’. It would at first appear to sanction fragmented sleep. However, what I believe Prof Horne is attempting to do is convey a simple message in an attempt to break a common insomnia spiral. The real message I would suggest is “Not to worry about not sleeping” as this worrying in itself may be the reason the individual is not sleeping.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/the-mps-surgery-ed-votes-for-a-nose-job-2273734.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1380504/Seven-daily-sins-Shower-day-Rinse-brushing-teeth-These-healthy-habits-devilishly-bad-you.html new-window

Created by Adrian Zacher new-window Last updated 17th May 2018


Sleep well. If you are unsure about your medical condition, please DO consult a Doctor with experience of sleep medicine. I strongly support providing current, accurate medical information so that individuals are better able to make informed decisions about their health care. If you think you have a sleep disorder please seek appropriate medical advice.

The concept of Sleep Debt – a layman’s explanation

The concept of Sleep Debt – a layman’s explanation

Sleep Debt – What is it and What Does it Mean?

Sleep debt can be considered ‘what you owe‘ yourself in terms of quality sleep. If your body and brain need 7-8 hours sleep a night but you routinely only sleep ~6 hours then you ‘owe‘ an hours sleep.

Its alarming how rapidly sleep debt accumulates over a week or a month.

Why does it matter?

A certain amount of sleep debt at the end of a day helps you fall asleep quite quickly. A large sleep debt will mean you fall asleep very rapidly and the reverse is true. This is known as ‘sleep onset latency’ and this constitutes one of the more commonly accepted tests for sleepiness.

When thinking about obstructive sleep apnoea, the individual may spend the same amount or more in bed and in theory asleep, however, their sleep is broken up by the apnoeaic episodes (periods when they both stop breathing and partially waken) and is not ‘restorative’ – they don’t feel rested. So these individuals build a significant sleep debt.

An aside that I find interesting, is that when sleep apnoea patients finally get quality rest, they have huge amounts of REM sleep each night for a period of time (known as a REM sleep rebound). This occurs as they repay their sleep debt and recover the REM sleep they have been deprived – first. They may then report very vivid dreams. One individual I met was actually quite disturbed by these and recalled them the following day in detail (dream ‘mentation’).

Sleep well.



Wiki page on Sleep Debt: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_debt new-window

If you are unsure about your medical condition, please DO consult a Doctor with experience of sleep medicine. I strongly support providing current, accurate medical information so that individuals are better able to make informed decisions about their health care.

If you think you have a sleep disorder please seek appropriate medical advice.