Tips for a tired nation
For those suspecting they may have sleep apnoea, have problems waking up or finding themselves extremely fatigued during the day, here are some easy steps from Sleep Expert Olivia Arezzolo you can take to diagnose and treat your symptoms.
Step 1: Take the Philips online sleep apnoea quiz. It takes less than five minutes and helps you understand your risk for OSA.
Step 2: If the Philips sleep apnoea quiz results are ‘high’, or you are experiencing symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, memory problems, headaches, irritability, moodiness, depression or extreme fatigue, visit your GP, pharmacy or book in with a sleep specialist for a sleep study.
Step 3: Explore treatment options based on the results. For those diagnosed with OSA, it’s comforting to know Philips has a range of masks available from traditional full face masks to modern nasal masks. Research shows it’s the choice treatment for the sleep disorder, and over half of individuals see significant improvements in their sleep, fatigue and energy after using it.
Alongside a sleep study and a CPAP mask, the following recommendations are for those suffering sleep apnoea, loud snoring and problematic sleeping:
1. Understand and acknowledge the ways that lack of sleep impacts all facets of life including work, relationships, productivity and build and maintain an effective bedtime routine.
2. Research and identify technology that can positively impact your sleep (such as sleep therapy, or sleep aid devices). There are available connected technologies such as wearables that can enhance deeper sleep and track metrics from number of awakenings to time spent in deep sleep
3. Ensure you are sleeping on your side - on your back, your airways are more likely to collapse, leaving you unable to breathe.
4. Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, snoring is worse - excessive weight narrows the airways and limits breathing. See a nutritionist and have a dietary plan created and make sure you follow it.
5. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol relaxes the airways and similarly to sleeping on your back, they are more likely to collapse. A great alternative is sparkling water with lemon and mint.
6. Apply lavender oil in the evening. Evidence shows lavender calms the brain, counteracting a ‘racing mind’ and endless thoughts which can otherwise keep you awake. Diffuse or apply it directly both are equally effective.
7. Avoid bright light at least 60 minutes prior to bed - studies show 99% of individuals exposed to bright (blue) light have lower melatonin levels. Melatonin is a hormone to make you sleepy, this means you’re less fatigued and will struggle to ‘switch off’.
8. Following on from above, as an alternative to watching screens prior to bed, my recommendation is to meditate - research shows long term meditators have more than 200% more deep sleep than those who don’t meditate, leaving them feeling more energised the next day.