“Total Sleep: 6 hrs 6 min” according to my smart-watch this morning. This does not include the 21 minutes of “awake” that was also logged. The “Goodnight” app on the watch is one of my favorite and most used features on the Galaxy Watch. It is somehow able to measure and categorize my sleep each night. It has been a boon to my life.
I’ve had clinically diagnosed sleep disorders most of my life, so monitoring sleep at home has decreased the number of times spent in the sleep clinic at the local hospital. I used to suffer sleep apnea so severe that I’d get such pounding headaches that over the counter analgesics couldn’t cure. A CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine was prescribed. It seemed to work fairly well, but it was cumbersome and required frequent cleaning and maintenance. It also interferred with my normal sleep posture because I had to learn how to sleep on my back.
After three years of using the CPAP device, another clinical evaluation was done without a CPAP machine, I was finally given permission to sleep at home without my CPAP. This was so liberating that I nearly cried for joy. This sleep emancipation occurred six years ago; and I have not suffered any further sleep related headaches nor discomfort. The main difficulty I still have is length of sleep. However, I’m carefully working on that, in league with the smart-watch.
My sleep environment has been personally designed to encourage comfort and rest. The bedroom is situated at the rear of the house–away from street noise and the neighbors’ comings and goings. The walls have been painted a medium-dark shade of green with the ceiling army-olive green. The windows are covered with pleated shades which are overlaid with blackout curtains.
The alarm clock display is able to be switched off. There are no TV nor other media devices in the room aside from a portable weather radio for emergency use and a portable cassette tape recorder. I chose the tape machine because it has a reliable automatic shut-off feature that turns off the machine at the end of each tape. This gives added peace of mind when I play relaxation and auto-hypnosis tapes to encourage restful sleep. Also, there is something especially soothing about obsolete, analogue technology that only cassette audio tapes provide.
Sleep hygiene is important. I go to bed at approximately the same time each night. The ambient room temperature is kept relatively cool because snuggling beneath a heavy quilt is conducive to my comfort and sleep quality. Currently, I’m experimenting with different types of pillows. The one I now like best is an extra firm store-brand pillow I bought at the local Target store. It works best for side-sleepers like me.
At present, I’m considering the purchase of a weighted blanket. I noticed 12 and 15 pound versions on display at Target the last time I was in the store. I wonder if they will be comfortable during the summer. If their prices are marked down during the January “white sale”, I’ll probably get one to use as an experiment.
The main objective of this blog post is to mention how important tweaking with my sleeping regime has been to improving the quality of my rest. If you experience some sleep problems, I hope this encourages you to experiment with your own sleep environment and/or to seek advice from your physician.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes 19th century dramatist, essayist, novelist, playwright, and poet, Victor Hugo. “Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.”