Dad Health: Am I Sleeping Right?

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Learn the latest on men’s health topics and tips for Dads ages of 35 and up. This month, one of our members is snoring a lot and is lacking quality sleep. Learn about the effects of sleep apnea and the benefits of a sleep study. Read more.

Dad Health: Am I Sleeping Right?

Learn the latest on men’s health topics and tips for Dads
ages of 35 and up. This month, one of our members is snoring a lot and is
lacking quality sleep. Learn about the effects of sleep apnea and the benefits
of a sleep study. Read more.

Am I Sleeping Right?

My name is Rick and I am 45-year old Single Parent of two
terrific sons (ages 8, 11) living in San Diego, California. Recently, I noticed
I am getting up a lot at night and feeling restless and not fully rested when I
wake up in the morning. My girlfriend says that I snore really loud and she
claims that I hold my breath and gasp. This news frightens me a bit and I need
to know if this is common for men my age to be doing this?

I have tried using nasal strips, which help a little, but I
still don’t feel rested when I wake up. Any advice on this subject is
appreciated.

Snoring Rick.

Dear Snoring Rick,

Your girlfriend’s description of your sleep patterns is
common and deserves the attention of a sleep doctor. Yes, there is such a thing
as a doctor who studies your sleep and looks into the causes of sleep apnea.
Get an appointment with your ENT, (Ears, Nose, Throat) Doctor who can refer to
you to a doctor who specializes in sleep.

Sleep Apnea is a big deal and more common than you think
with men in our age group. My personal experience has an eerie resemblance to
yours. I started sleeping on my back in hopes of getting more oxygen into my
lungs and used a variety of sleeping aids to help me get a better nights rest;
however, none of them worked. The
best advice I recommend for you is to seek a doctor who take a sleep study on
you and discover "WHY" you are not getting proper sleep. I am not a doctor, but
I have discovered that there are a variety of reasons on why I was not getting
good sleep and here are some of the discoveries I have recently made about my
symptoms:

Holding Your Breath in Your Sleep

Holding your breath is never good, especially if you are
doing it in your sleep. You are depriving your brain of oxygen and it also
applies stress to your heart with irregular breathing patterns.

Restlessness

If you are struggling with your breathing, your body is
going to be restless and it spends the whole night trying to find the best
sleeping / oxygen intake position. Your sleep doctor would call this category
the "Micro Arousal Index". This is used to measure the number of times your
body moves while asleep. Based on my results, I was "moving" 40 times per hour
as compared to a normal range of 10 times. As you can see with my results, your
body is not going to get quality sleep if you are in constant motion.

sleep

Dr. Brian Weeks, ENT

In my case, my ENT doctor, Brian Weeks broke down my situation into 3
separate studies: Face to Face Appointment, Sleep Study, Scan of my Nasal
Passages. Each of these studies gave my doctor a real good understanding of
"WHY" my sleep apnea was happening.

Face to Face Doctor’s Appointment

It didn’t help that I had suffered three broken noses over
the course of 20 years. I had so much scar tissue in my right nasal passage
that my ENT doctor said that I had over 80% blockage. That meant, I am only
getting 20% use out of one side of my breathing passage. Another observation
was that I never had my tonsils out as a kid and now that I am an adult; they
are a bit large which doesn’t help my throat passage for breathing. Again the
combination of a blocked nasal passage with scar tissue and a smaller throat
passage reduces the availability of quality breathing.

Sleep Study

Picture a nice hotel room with enough cameras mounted in the
room that makes you feel like you are going to make a movie. The only problem
is that the movie is a "one man show"…. starring you. I went to the Performance
Sleep Centers of San Diego
. This facility where you get wired up in every
possible way to have your sleep monitored using some the state of the art
technology.

sleep

Although the pictures might seem like I wouldn’t be
comfortable, I was able to fall asleep and complete an 8-hour study and leave
in the morning. There is so much to say about this experience, but I am limited
to this blog, so let me just tell you that this is a required step into
understanding what’s going on and properly diagnosing your sleep situation.
With a sleep study, I was able to understand:

  • Latency of Sleep
  • Wake Time After Sleep Onset
  • Total Sleep Time
  • Sleep Efficiency
  • REM Latency
  • CPAP Treatment (Oxygen Support During Sleep)

I strongly recommend getting a sleep study to anyone who is
waking up tired and struggling getting a good night’s rest. There are so many
reasons why this is happening to you; it’s best to let the professionals
determine the best route to your recovery.

Nasal Cavity Scan

Just like an X-Ray, this scan performs a frontal X-Ray of
the front of your face and captures the detail necessary for your doctor to see
how blocked your sinus passages and what may be causing the blockage. In my
case it was a lot of scar tissue, but the X-Ray gives your doctor a clear view
of your nasal cavity to rule out other possible obstacles.

sleep

In summary

Quality sleep is necessary to live a productive life. There
are many factors that I didn’t cover in this article to why your body is not
getting enough sleep. My primary focus was to help one of our SingleDad members
like Rick, look into the Sleep Study since I had recently experienced the same
symptoms. Diet and exercise play a
good part on keeping your body healthy; but for most Dads who run into sleep
apnea they don’t know where to start. For more information on Sleep Studies,
Sleep Apnea, and CPAP treatments, please go to the following websites:

Dr. Brian Weeks, ENT: Link Click HERE

Performance Sleep Centers of San Diego: Link Click HERE

Got A Dad Health & Fitness Question?

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Health or Fitness question that you want to ask? Send us an email to: Info@SingleDad.com and we will post your
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Richard JaramilloRichard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”

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Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com, a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children. RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents “Make Life Happen…Again!”