Breathing is done automatically while you sleep. If someone complains that you snore very loudly, or if you wake up short of breath or you are told that your breathing stops in your sleep, you may have sleep apnea. When this condition is clinically significant, it reduces the quality of your sleep, diminishes the amount of oxygen in your system and puts a heavy burden on your heart requiring medical treatment. The diagnosis is generally made with special recording techniques in a sleep laboratory and the treatment commonly includes the application of a mask over the nose that conveys air at a positive pressure generated by a small machine called CPAP. Other measures such as losing weight, increasing your level of exercise and adjusting your medications should be discussed with your doctor.
Restful Sleep is one of the pillars of health.
Three key elements of good quality sleep are:
1. Duration: The length of sleep should be sufficient for the sleeper to be rested and alert the following day
2. Continuity: Sleep periods should be seamless without fragmentation
3. Depth: Sleep should be deep enough to be restorative
Failure to obtain quality sleep may lead to poor alertness, lack of attention, reduced concentration, decreased work and academic productivity, and even motor vehicle accidents.
Having a healthy body is the premise that leads to a restful sleep. Sick individuals do not sleep well. Alleviating disease and avoiding unhealthful habits contribute to improve the quality of sleep. Instead of trying to sleep as little as possible, recognize that sleep is just as essential for your optimal health and happiness as exercise and nutrition. Be aware that the quality of your sleep may directly affect your mental sharpness, emotional balance, productivity, physical vitality (including your weight) and creativity. There is no other activity that delivers so many benefits without much effort!