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!)

My Adventure into Sleeping Better and More

My Adventure into Sleeping Better and More

Sleep Better – Feel Better

The tips of this page are based on my personal ‘adventure’ into how I recently (with some evidence from using an ApneaLink and a NightShift) improved my sleep quality and duration, by applying the knowledge that I have gained through working in this field for 20 years.

I am now sleeping about 60-90 minutes more each night

I thought it was time I took some of my own medicine! The scientific theories to back up these practical tips are referenced at the end.  

 

snoring noise

Background 

We have an infant son (2 years old) and up until fairly recently we left his bedroom door (and ours) open so we could hear him. He ‘squawks’ in the night a couple of times and then goes back to sleep.

My wife has a cold at the moment and also suffers periodically from reflux (GERD/GORD). She coughs – and then coughs some more… She has some pills and liquid nastiness to put out the fire.

I (used to) snore. Especially if I am really tired or I have had a drink – even worse if its both!  

The Changes We’ve Made

  1. Bit of time and effort on this first one: We installed opaque roller blinds in the bedroom windows. In addition to the curtains. This personally helps me, grab the hour from 5am to 6am when the sun is coming up. The light would usually wake me.1
  2. I use a custom-made anti-snoring device. I feel better in the morning after using it and don’t have a sore throat. My wife is happier too! 😮 2
  3. We decided that our son was sleeping better than us and his noise in the night has become a regular pattern of behaviour, that does NOT require our attention. We’ve shut the doors…3
  4. Just in case my wife has a coughing fit from acid reflux (GERD/GORD) I have taken to using ear plugs on occasional nights. I still hear my son if he is really upset and my wife doesn’t need to use ear plugs because I don’t snore anymore!4
  5. We turn the heating down before we go to bed at night. Saves a bit of money perhaps, and seems to mean we sleep more deeply.5
  6. I use the NightShift Positional Therapy Device (see my other post about it “Turn over you’re snoring!“) and this has helped me stay off my back. Together with the custom anti-snoring device or “Mouthpiece” I get some decent rest.
  7. Finally, just to make sure I’m extra sexy (!) I have taken to wearing socks at night. No cold feet. This is something that commonly affects women and disrupts their sleep but I find it helps me too.6

 

Sleep Better – Feel Sharper in the Day

This added all together, means I have less interruptions in my sleep and I’ve found that I am now sleeping about 60-90 minutes more each night. I speculate that as my sleep is less interrupted its deeper and of better quality. I imagine that I am overcoming some sleep debt but that is still quite significant. I feel rested and am no longer suffering the afternoon dip.  

Fluid and Alcohol affect Sleep

During sleep, your body does not create as much urine. You can think that the body’s intention is that your sleep is not interrupted by the need to use the bathroom. If you have a big drink before bedtime (I don’t mean alcohol), you are pretty well certain to need to wake in a few hours… alcohol will guarantee you do!

Evening alcohol prevents you from sustaining sleep. Yes, I know that’s exactly when you want to have a drink! and yes it may help you GO to sleep but you then have to get up and pee. On a more scientific level it interferes with your sleep cycles.

Perhaps some or all of these practical suggestions can help you? I wish you luck and good, deep, refreshing sleep. There really is nothing like waking up feeling refreshed and raring to go.

If you’re interested in learning more about sleep disordered breathing or the available treatment options then grab a Information Guides.

Sleep well.

If you or a loved one has problems with sleeping (or not sleeping), 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.

Grab our GP Guidelines and take them with you. 

 

References

  1. Room light and sleep: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3047226/
  2. Oral appliances for snoring/sleep apnoea: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7481421
  3. World Health Organisation on sleep and noise: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/environment-and-health/noise/policy/who-night-noise-guidelines-for-europe
  4. GERD/GORD and sleep disorders: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2879818/
  5. Room temperature: “Research shows that the ideal temperature range for sleeping varies widely among individuals, so much so that there is no prescribed best room temperature to produce optimal sleep patterns.” http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/science/how/external-factors
  6. Cold feet: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v401/n6748/full/401036a0.html

Last updated 23rd May 2018

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OTC Anti-Snoring Devices available on the internet or pharmacy

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.