Concentration and Sleep an Important Combination

bed Do you ever have a day where you find that you find you are staring into space more than actually getting things done? Or, maybe you have to read a sentence over and over and it still does not make sense.

Or, maybe you have headaches or debilitating migraines that make it difficult for you to think.

If you experience any kind of concentration or productivity challenges, you may have issues with your sleep. If you don't get the right amount and kind of sleep, you can suffer from a number issues.

Resmedmiragequattrofullfacecpapma_2You Need Good Sleep!

We've all heard it. You need to get sleep! Yet, many of us do not get the kind of restorative sleep that we really need. In January of 2007 we learned that sleep pattern issues can even cause a heart attack – my husband learned it first hand. After his heart attack, he did another sleep study and it was confirmed. His sleep apnea had not been regulated correctly and he needed a new CPAP machine and a different kind of mask.

You May Not Know You Have an Issue!

I have always been a night person. I'll say it is much easier for me to stay up until 4 in the morning than to get up at 4 in the morning! I've adjusted my schedule around this fact for a number of years. I make sure that I get the right amount of sleep. I would frequently feel sleepy, but I blamed it on my husband's apnea. His snoring would wake me up, I would say. I experienced all of those items identified above.

Then, this past December, I ended up in the ER. I won't bore you with the details, but it turned out that I had been having multiple different kinds of migraines at the same time. The neurologist suggested a sleep study for me. I thought it was kind of goofy, but I did it anyway.

GetthumbphpI was Surprised by the Results!

When the tests were analyzed, they told me that I too had sleep apnea! I was quite shocked. They fit me with a CPAP machine in February of this year. After only about 2 weeks of using this new apparatus (let me assure you, my husband and I are now a cute couple at night!) I was already seeing a difference. Now, I would not go to sleep without the machine. Oh, and all of those problems that I mentioned at the beginning of this post — they are basically gone!

What if You Don't Have a Sleep Disorder?

While there are more and more people that are donning on CPAP masks at night, not everyone suffers from a medical condition that impacts their sleep and concentration. Tomorrow I'll mention some techniques to consider if you don't have a sleep disorder.

What Have You Done?

Have you found that troubles with your sleep have impacted your ability during your waking hours? Share your story! I'd be interested to hear what you learned.

3 thoughts on “Concentration and Sleep an Important Combination

  • June 16 2008 at 9:57 am
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    Hah!

    Have I experienced… Hah! I live 'impacted your ability' every single day. For me, it's sleep interruptions as well as shortage in general. I have two interruptions…er, children age 3. I'm told they should be sleeping through the night–long since, in fact–but somehow they didn't get the message. Where once it was diaper changings and feedings through the night, now it's nightmares and potty visits.

    I have noticed quite a difference since the last few months of pregnancy. I have no memory anymore, and when a night has been particularly interrupted, I'm really only half a person. The staring off into space is part of it. Complete inability to remember what happened even five minutes ago is another part that's very frustrating. Wanting, nay, needing desperately to crawl into bed becomes the foundation for a chronic grouchiness with children, family, and coworkers.

    On nights that I actually do get to sleep all the way through, it's like emerging from a dark and gloomy place. One night usually isn't enough to bring me back into the light, but suddenly I can see that there is light, over there somewhere…

    I dunno if I've got any apnea–my uncle has it and had drastic measures taken to alleviate it. Certainly my husband snores.. But it only takes the distinctive click of a doorknob down the hall to bring me to instant alertness these days.

    I am sure every mommy has these same issues for a period of time. With twins, it seems like one or the other is waking up every night, even now. I miss uninterrupted sleep.

  • June 16 2008 at 2:18 pm
    Permalink

    Kristina -
    Boy do I feel your pain! Wow twins huh? I remember when my youngest (now 7) was that age. It does get better. Try to remember that if Mommy is not doing well, no one is doing well. It is so hard to not take care of everyone all of the time, but it is important! Maybe have a conversation with your husband about needing nap time and how it is impacting you at home and work not getting sleep. Another consideration is to let your 3-year-olds try to take care of their own challenges rather than jumping to their aid when you hear them get up. I realize that is REALLY HARD. When my son was 3 we ended up having to let him "cry it out" and it lasted for over 4 hours. It was horrible, however, it only took once for him to realize that he should go back to sleep. There are still those really bad nightmares that I'll get up for, but they are few and far between. He has learned independence and that is a plus both for my sleep and for his.

    I remember telling co-workers how as the baby's brain was developing (so it said in the books) it was more that he was stealing MY brain!

    If you are especially tired, also consider drinking LOADs more water. Tired and dehydrated is even worse and can really mess up your concentration.
    To your success in getting more sleep!
    Steph

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