Between shopping, cooking, planning, parties, and travel it can be easy to get off track with your sleep habits. Did you know on average, 76% of U.S. adults claim to lose sleep during the holidays? It has been reported that 3 or more hours of sleep are lost per week during this busy time of the year. So what can you do to avoid this?
This is the time of year we all like to indulge in big meals and sweet treats. Heavy meals may lead to heartburn, bad dreams, and general discomfort, which can put a damper on our ability to sleep soundly. So, if you must have an extra helping at dinner or a piece of pie, try to do it earlier in the day and moderate your portions. A general rule of thumb is that you should have your last large meal 2-3 hours before you go to bed.
The season is full of parties and champagne toasts so if you plan on drinking try and keep it to a minimum. Avoid alcoholic beverages close to bedtime as it relaxes the muscles in your body including your throat tissues which can increase snoring and prevent proper airflow through your nose and mouth. Always remember that even a few drinks can interfere with your sleep cycle.
Traveling with a CPAP machine may seem inconvenient, but there is nothing like a good night’s sleep. Not using your therapy even one night can cause your sleep apnea symptoms to return. The best thing to do is prepare ahead of time so you can bring your machine along for the ride. If you are flying, call the airline ahead of time so you are aware of their guidelines for medical equipment. Are you a frequent flyer? You may want to consider a travel machine, which is significantly smaller in size. Staying out of town, with friends or family? An extension cord might come in handy for hard to reach outlets. Traveling out of the country? Then an outlet adapter or voltage converter is a must.
The holidays can be the perfect excuse for staying up too late. However, if you suffer from sleep apnea it is just as important to get a good night’s sleep now, than it is any other time of year. Try planning activities earlier in the day so you can still get to bed at a decent hour.
Your schedule may be packed, but don’t forget to clean and change your supplies on a regular basis to ensure your quality of therapy. Equipment that goes for extended periods of time without being changed can lead to potential bacterial development and a poor mask seal, which can cause irritation when your mask is strapped on tighter to make up for deficiencies.
Stay on track with your regular routine so you can be awake and alert, while enjoying the holiday season!
Nationwide Medical Inc. is the leader in sleep apnea support and CPAP/BiLevel machines and supplies. We have more than a decade of experience serving 100,000 patients with 24/7 clinical support. You can reach us at www.nationwidemedical.com or call 1-877-307-2727 (CPAP).