UPDATE: As it turns out, I repeated the home test and can report that I do not in fact have sleep apnea. Whew! I was going to delete the post but thought I would leave it as I think it has some valid points and the article link is interesting. 😊
See older post below:
As we coast into the home stretch before Christmas, I have decided to more aggressively heighten efforts on healthy eating and lifestyle. Yes, heighten. My goal is to unload the 1 pound per year gained since turning 50. For some it is 1-5 pounds per year gained so I am grateful that I am at least on the lower end.
Why not just accept it and grow into my later years with a little extra cushioning? No harm? Well, there is nothing like a little incentive and fire on the butt to up the ante. I was told this week that I have probable mild sleep apnea. I come from a long line of snorers, you see, my father being the king. He can move mountains with his raucous breathing during sleep. I am sure it has dialed back the quality of his life to some degree but he trudges on seemingly made of titanium given his health woes. He is also one of the many who do not adhere to CPAP therapy so my mother had no choice but to sell his machine on Kijiji.
After my initial visit to the sleep clinic and having just dropped off the home sleep study machine, I remarked to another sad fellow leaving the clinic that I thought the whole thing was a load of crap. Denial of the deepest.
Now that I am moving toward a place of more acceptance, I am reminded that the last few months, even few years, have not been restful when it comes to sleep. The 4 am wake ups have been frequent. I have cut back or eliminated alcohol, kept caffeine to a minimum as much as possible and have avoided blue screens after supper (mostly).
Knowing what I know about hormones though I know that estrogen withdrawal from my body is creating havoc on all my body tissues as it does in midlife for us all. Why should my neck and throat area be any different? Sigh….
As a dietitian though, I ask myself why the clinic did not ask me some important questions? “Are you aware of any weight gain in recent years? How is your diet? Are there any changes to be made to your lifestyle to see if we might make some improvements and possibly reduce any apneic episodes? What is the harm in trying?
So here I go on a refining of my lifestyle. It has become a full time job taking care of myself and I assume it is worth it to avoid any unnecessary heart disease, Alzheimer s, or chronic health conditions like type 2 diabetes or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease both of which are significantly on the rise in young adults.
People have said to me, you are not overweight. Well the truth is that the extra few pounds are pushing me in the wrong direction so the weight does matter. I am more under “estrogened” than overweight and the fat redistribution and tissue changes make the hardware around my breathing area compromised. If the lifestyle refining and slight weight drop does not make a difference then so be it – my honey and I will have his and hers units by our bedside. We will laugh a little harder before we talk before bed. Some are not fortunate enough to have access to these machines and this creates a social health dilemma I think.
Let’s see what happens. Think about any refinements you could make around your lifestyle even here and now during the holidays. It might just give you a little extra shut eye and life could be a little sweeter in 2019. Please read this recent opinion on diet and chronic disease. It will open your eyes. It is never to early or late to make a few lifestyle changes.