Did you know that we spend a third of our life sleeping? Did you know that we need to spend this time sleeping to rejuvenate our body, minds and soul? Healthy Sleep is essential for maintaining good heath, just as healthy eating and proper exercise is important for our bodies to function as our Lord intended them to.
This is my 20th year working in Sleep and particularly helping people with their Sleep Apnea equipment. My passion for helping people sleep was kindled years ago when a lady came in to the sleep lab I was working in at that time. I was a new Sleep Technologist and the equipment was nothing like we have now, it was big and bulky and only a handful of uncomfortable masks to choose from, but the process was the same as today. We treated the collapsed airways with positive air pressure until breathing and oxygenation was healthy again. This particular lady I recall was extremely tired, falling asleep in her wheel chair and very grumpy. She had very little color in her cheeks, no desire to move, and no motivation to hold a conversation with me during the sleep study preparation. She moaned and groaned as I tried to get her to follow our protocols, stating “I will never fall asleep here as long as I live.” She was out within 3 min!! Her Sleep Apnea was very severe. She snored loudly, stopped breathing over 100 times an hour, and her oxygen dipped to deathly looking levels. I quickly put her on the CPAP machine, a large breathing machine at the time with nobs and a one size fits all mask!! Not quiet, but in those days we worked with what we had. I started the pressure on 5 cm and adjusted it up until the airway miraculously popped open and she went into the most beautiful dream pattern I had ever seen at that time!
See, when someone doesn’t get enough good sleep, the body will compensate and go into the stages of sleep the body needs when they are able to sleep again!! As a young technologist then I said to myself “wow, this really works”, and this is the day I fell in love with Sleep therapy. The next day the lady awakened with a smile, color in her cheeks, chatting at me and said she had not had a dream in years!!
Today I often think of this special lady that kindled my love for this career in Sleep and pray she is still using her CPAP and doing well. I encourage everyone to take a special look at their own sleep and their loved ones, and realize what a blessing good healthy sleep is and to understanding that sleep is so important to our health. There is help, special doctors and specialists, like myself, that help people with their CPAP equipment. It is very important to get your equipment checked at least every 6 months for hygiene purposes and because the masks and machine’s need to periodically be replaced and to see your doctor once a year about your sleep prescription too. Thank you, Anne Turner
Hello all! This is Anne Turner with A Turning Leaf Home Medical Equipment. Spring time is finally here and while many people make a point to clean their homes, it is important not to forget about your CPAP equipment. While many CPAP patients’ make a point to clean their mask and tubing regularly, many times patients forget to clean the CPAP machine itself.
While you do not need to clean your CPAP machine as often as your mask and tubing, it is a good idea to clean the device from time to time. Since the CPAP draws air in from its surroundings, this causes it to become dusty much faster than other household items. Since the CPAP is used by your bedside, this accumulating dust can have an adverse effect on the health of you and your bed partner. Not to mention the fact that accumulating dust on the CPAP will cause filter’s to become dirty faster and could also potentially cause electrical problems for the unit.
But do not fear, because all of these undesirable consequences can be avoided simply by periodically making sure that your CPAP machine is free from dust and other germs that can accumulate. Here at A Turning Leaf Home Medical, we provide a CPAP device cleaning and inspection free of charge and we will teach you and yours simple and time saving methods to maximize the life of your sleep apnea machine and sleep apnea supplies. We encourage our patients along, with anyone who uses CPAP/BiLevel or any durable medical equipment that you may need help with to stop by one of our family owned and operated offices and allow our staff to make sure your device/equipment are clean and in working order. This includes a device cleaning by one of our board certified sleep therapists, a simple check to make sure your device is delivering the proper pressure, along with a chance for you to have any questions you may have about therapy answered. All free of charge!
We hope to see you soon and would love to help make sure that you are sleeping as best you can this spring!
Anne Turner, BA, RRT, RPSGT
President & Owner of A Turning Leaf Home Medical Equipment
Anne Turner’s Healthy Sleep Tips For a New You in a New Year
- Keep your schedule regular. Go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday of the week including weekends.
- Increase your exposure to sunlight during the day. Sunlight, even on overcast days, activates your body and raises your energy levels. It is essential to get outside at least for a few minutes every day if for nothing else, to maintain a positive mental outlook. But there’s more to it than this. There is a whole science behind how our bodies function in light versus darkness. Here’s the basic gist: when we increase exposure to natural light during waking hours we reduce our bodies’ production of the sleep inducing hormone melatonin and thus, the body stays awake and alert. Conversely, when we limit light in the hours leading up to sleep, our bodies’ produce melatonin which is the hormone necessary for inducing sleep. In addition, if you live in regions that do not get much natural light, or you work on a different schedule, you may find the use of a medical light therapy device helpful to simulate ideal, health inducing, daytime conditions.
- Decrease light at least an hour before your scheduled bed time. Keep your room dark when you sleep. Instead of a night light, keep a flash light handy beside your bed for those times when you need to get up and use the restroom. You can also control the light levels in your bedroom or in your living room or both with variable or low wattage bulbs. Furthermore, you can also experiment with red light bulbs in your bed room. Some people have found the use red light to simulate the red glow of a fireplace. And there is nothing more relaxing than the soft glow of a fire.
- Limit your screen time in the evening hours. Screens are devices that stimulate your brain such as television sets, computers, laptops, iPads, notebook computing devices, and even cell phones. What over exposure to these devices do is that they excite brain function and inhibit the body’s natural process of relaxation that occurs after the sun sets. Relaxation in the hours leading up to lights out is essential for restful period of sleep. In order for a body to remain healthy, it requires a healthy, or regular, sleep routine. A healthy sleep period is necessary for our bodies to rejuvenate, restore, and prepare for the next day.
- Create your own “dream room.” Your bedroom should be reserved for a good night’s sleep and for good sex. Spend time finding the right bed. They are not all the same. There is no one size fits all. Pillows are important; especially, if you are using a CPAP machine. Did you know that a cool room can also help promote sleep? Take a warm bath. Warm baths are great for getting you in the mood and for sleep too! Noise. Limiting or silencing noise is also important. If, however, you can’t move away from a noisy environment like an airport or a train track or subway or your partner’s constant snoring invest in a good pair of earplugs or a sound (reduction) machine. A white noise generator is helpful for many people in supporting healthy sleep routines. And for those who have been putting off their sleep apnea treatment for the sound that many CPAP machines make, wait no more, because there are fancy white noise machines for that too. Believe me, I know what you’re going through, my hubby’s Respironics Auto CPAP soothes me to sleep every night when the lights go out. Remember, it is necessary at lights out to have a routine or a psychological association or “no brainer activity” to cue your mind in to the fact that it is time, to relax, to wind down, and to crawl into bed and shut down. Lastly, avoid all actions like family feuds or financial or whatever stressor that could possibly hype you up in this crucial time of the day. Because, simply put, lack of sleep has been proven to decrease your cognitive ability. Thus making your ability to problem solve much more stressful the next day, when you wake.
- Take care of yourself and make am important change in the new year for sleep. Nutrition, Exercise, Stress Management, Weight Control, Smoking cessation, and Limiting Alcohol are all important factors for sleep. Everything that we do to our bodies and every substance that we put into our bodies impacts our ability to maintain a healthy productive sleep routine. There is a multitude of insomnia causing agents in our daily lives. Consuming too much caffeine or too much alcohol or nicotine or sugar are huge factors of insomnia. Stress and anxiety are also prime culprits of causing insomnia. Eating, before bed, may induce sleep for some, but for others it leads to indigestion, and thus is a factor for insomnia. Lastly, and I can’t say this enough, take care of yourself, and please take the time to get to know what your body needs to maintain a healthy productive sleep routine.