Will you be the Next Victim of Denial?

Denial is the refusal to believe that something exists or is real. And in this article, I share the tragic story of how denial killed my friend. 

Denial Killed my Friend

Some time ago, Sam (not his real name) came up to me and said: “I had a sleep study and they put me on that CPAP machine, but I don’t really like it”. A fairly overweight gentleman in his late 50’s, Sam was a casual friend of mine.

“What do you mean?”, I asked.

“Air keeps blowing out the side of my mask. And a lot of times when I wake up my mask is lying next to me, just blowing away”. It sounded to me like a poorly adjusted mask. Or maybe it was the wrong type of mask. Possibly even the wrong pressure.

I talked with him about all these things, offering some suggestions I felt could be helpful. I also encouraged him to go back to his CPAP provider and have them check his mask.  He always seemed interested in what I was saying. However, when I ran into him a few weeks later, he hadn’t made any calls. And yes, he was still having problems.

We had several meetings like that. I’d always remind him of the dangers of improperly treated sleep apnea. And  I’d encourage him to get things checked out. But the next time I saw him, it was the same thing all over again. Now, Sam was no dummy, and he wasn’t lazy. He was also married; happily, I believe. Yet, knowing the dangers of sleep apnea, he never followed through with my advice.

Tragically, not long after our last conversation, I heard that he had passed away in his sleep. The Coroner said he had had a massive heart attack. This news, of course, devastated his wife. I immediately suspected improperly treated sleep apnea was the culprit. And if so, his death might’ve been prevented.

In any case, what stopped him from following my advice?

Are you in Denial, or What?Denial

My friend knew about the dangers he faced but must’ve been in denial. Like so many of us, Sam apparently just couldn’t accept that he could die if his sleep apnea wasn’t treated properly. Maybe someone else would, but not him. Naturally, I was shocked by his death. But that only made it more puzzling to me. I mean, we had several talks about this issue, and yet, he never did anything about it.

Some people just can’t accept certain possibilities. You know how it is. It (whatever ‘it’ is) always happens to the other guy, right?

Well, then there are those people who just don’t know about the consequences of untreated sleep apnea. To them, CPAP is just about getting a better nights sleep. I’ve even heard some people tell me they don’t need a sleep study because “I sleep just fine”. And while getting some good quality sleep is nice, that’s really just a side effect of CPAP.

And yes, people do die in their sleep because of sleep apnea. However, not because their breathing stopped, but because their heart stopped. Your heart can only take so much stress before calling it quits.

Am I Preaching to the Choir?

It’s easy to put things off, especially if it’s ‘not that bad’. After all, you’ve been like that for so long now. I mean, that’s just the way you are, right?

So, have you settled into a kind of complacency? Is this really ‘just the way you are? Do you understand the dangers of untreated, or even under treated sleep apnea, but don’t think you’re in any danger? Maybe you just don’t understand the real threat that exists.

Or are your finances hindering you? Can you really afford to go through more tests? Let’s face it, even with insurance, there can be some hefty fee’s involved. And I can understand how you might feel that way.

Remember, knowledge can be powerful, but denial can be deadly. So please, carefully consider what’s important in your life, and act accordingly. Who knows, the life you save might be your own.

Till next time…Blessings.

It’s not Natural to be Tired all the Time

Why am I so tired all the time? This is just one of the many questions people ask. I’ll answer that question in this article.

Why Am I Always so Tired?Tired all the time

Actually, the answer is neither simple nor straightforward. And a lot of times it takes more than just a ‘cat nap’.

First of all, how much sleep do we really need? Studies indicate anywhere from  6-9 hours. However, some people need more, and some people need less. What about you?  Are you still tired after getting ‘enough’ sleep? Or do you lay awake forever, trying to get at least a few fleeting moments of shut eye?

In either case, you may be getting enough hours of sleep. But we also need good quality sleep. And a lack of good quality sleep can be downright deadly. Don’t believe me? Read on.

In a moment we’ll have a look at some reasons you might be tired. But first, let’s define the words tired, fatigued, and exhausted. Because there are significant differences between them. And being able to identify these will get you the proper treatment.

Tired, Fatigued, or Exhausted?

Tired-You still have some energy. However, you can experience muscle weakness. You might also have some memory problems, but a good rest will clear things up.

Fatigue– lack of energy will be accompanied by difficulty concentrating; as well as difficulty sleeping. A rest might not help much, if at all.

Exhaustion-By now, you have more than just difficulty concentrating. You’re becoming confused, incoherent, and emotionally ‘numb’. Don’t even waste your time trying to nap at this point.

As you can see, knowing which one you’re dealing with is very important. Again, using the right term to describe your symptoms to your Doctor will help assure the best treatment.

Now, back to reasons you might be tired. Let’s start with sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea

The word Apnea comes from two Greek root words; A, meaning no, and pnea, meaning breath. When you’re awake, your breathing is brisk, and your muscles are tense. However, as you fall asleep, your breathing slows down and your muscles relax. At this point, your airway can become floppy and collapse either partially, or totally.  See diagram.

Tired all the time
If your airway collapses enough, you’ll actually stop breathing. When this happens, it doesn’t take long for your brain to scream for oxygen. It does this by waking you up so that your muscles tense up, and your breathing rate increases. All the while, your heart and blood pressure are going crazy!

That’s how people with sleep apnea spend their nights! If you have a bed partner, they could experience all sorts of commotion. For instance, they’ll hear snoring at various volumes; then periods of silence, followed by loud gasps or snorts. All while watching you thrash around struggling for air.

But what if you sleep alone? What if you have no one to tell you what you do while you snooze? In that case, some things to look for include, waking up gasping for air, and/or morning headaches. Sleep apnea can also cause a bunch of health problems, including heart disease and Diabetes. See http://sleepguyblog.com/alarming-truth-sleep-apnea/

Does any of that sound familiar to you? Could be time to talk with your Doctor about a sleep study. But what if you’ve had a sleep study and you don’t have sleep apnea? Or you have sleep apnea, but CPAP isn’t helping.

What then?

Other Reasons

Let’s take a look at some of the other causes, because there are a number of diseases that can cause tiredness and/or fatigue. The following is just a partial list.

Anemia-http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anemia/home/ovc-20183131

Cancer-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cancer-related_fatigue

Depression-http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/fatigue#Overview1

Diabetes-http://early-diabetes-symptoms.com/early-symptoms-diabetes/diabetes-tiredness-symptoms/

Heart Disease-http://www.heartfailurematters.org/en_GB/Warning-signs/Increasing-fatigue

Restless Legs Syndrome-http://sleepguyblog.com/can-effectively-treat-restless-legs/

Underactive Thyroid-http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/05/06/what-is-thyroid-related-fatigue.aspx

Also, some of the medications you take for these diseases can cause tiredness as well. However, what if you’ve had a thorough check up, and Doctors can’t find anything?

Is it all in my Head?

Actually, yes, it is. Emotional stress can be exhausting. No, this doesn’t mean you’re crazy, it’s just that People handle situations differently. Thus, what’s stressful to me, may not be to you, and the other way around.

Also, keep in mind there’s good stress and bad stress.

As I mentioned in my article  http://sleepguyblog.com/__poor-quality-sleep-cause-disease/  I talked about balance. So a certain amount of stress is actually beneficial to you. It’s what drives you to succeed or do other things. And if you’ve read that article, you’d understand how stress can do more harm than good if it gets out of control.

Treatment Options

Here’s a rather brief look at some natural treatment options. We’ll cover tiredness here. Fatigue and exhaustion may need more intense therapy and therefore require a combination of both natural and conventional medicine.

Alternative Treatments Include:

Acupuncture-This stuff actually works, folks!

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction– This is basically a combination of meditation and yoga exercises. Studies show this may improve your quality of life.

Ginseng-Increases energy

Rest- That’s right, a good old nap can do wonders; that is unless you’re more than just tired.

Vitamin B12-This is a good source of energy.

Iron supplements-Think iron poor blood here.

Additionally, some of these treatments can also help with fatigue and exhaustion.

Conclusion

So, finding out why you’re tired all the time might not be that easy. Also, knowing the difference between tired, fatigued, and exhausted can help you get the right treatment.

I hope that something in this article sparked your interest to learn more. Maybe you have more questions or a story of your own you’d like to share. Either way, please leave a comment. You might just share something that will greatly help someone else.

Till next time…Blessings.

 

But sleep apnea itself can cause tiredness just because you’re not sleeping well at night
So, what if you’re getting what should be enough sleep, and you’re still tired?

They found you didn’t have sleep apnea and you’re still tired? Or you had a sleep study and are now on CPAP, but still tired?

 

Or are you still tired even using CPAP?
Are you getting ‘enough’ sleep, but are still tired?
Obviously being tired all the time is not our natural state. So if you’re constantly tired, something’s not right, and that something could be deadly.

 

Tired, Fatigued, or Exhausted?

There’s a significant difference between these, and it’s important to know what they are:

Tired-You still have some energy. However, you can experience muscle weakness. You might also have some memory problems, but a good rest will clear things up.

Fatigue– lack of energy will be accompanied by difficulty concentrating; as well as difficulty sleeping.

Exhaustion-At this point, you have more than just difficulty concentrating. You’re now becoming confused, incoherent, and emotionally ‘numb’

Knowing which one you’re dealing with is very important. And using the right term to describe your symptoms to your Doctor will help assure the best treatment.

Ginseng is cinically proven to increase energy.

 

Ginseng is cinically proven to increase energy.