How is your sleep? Four words that have the ability to prevent more accidents, deter the onset of disease and improve the quality of life as we know it in this day and age. Everyone can benefit from bringing up one of the most important conversations of our generation. Sleep is a healing mechanism that can help ensure you make it to the years to see your daughter walk down the aisle to remembering the birth of your grandchild. Sleep affects not only the state of our mind, preventing the onset of Dementia and Alzheimer’s for individuals as they age but helps us manage our blood pressure, maintain our weight but also reduce the likelihood of a stroke or heart attack. Broaching this conversation with your doctor could potentially save your life. Think about it. We are told that when our time arrives we envision a video of our life. What does the quality of your current health tell you? It is the biggest indicator of how long we walk this earth and if we will truly live life. Cultures across the world are losing one of its most precious and oldest secrets for optimal health.
I have spent the last 10 years on this passion project bringing up this very topic in physician offices, hospitals and clinics. Do you ask your patients how they sleep? Over 40 million people in the United States have an undiagnosed medical sleep disorder known as Sleep Apnea. It is a life threatening potential deadly disease that when accompanied by the use of pain medication surely adds to unnecessary fatalities as we have seen in the last few years in the media with celebrity death. Pain medication reduces the body’s response to carbon dioxide, the primary stimulus that drives respiration. Furthermore, opioid medications increase the risk of sleep apnea, making the combination a silent killer.
We have an opportunity to change all that. We have the choice to say, I will make my sleep a priority. Parents can say, I will take better care of me so I can take better care of you. Sleep deprivation gets its unfortunate valor of honor in the workplace but none sadder than with new parents who feel that sleep deprivation is the only cue that they are doing everything they can to be the best parents possible and it simply isn’t true. We often pass our own sleep issues and poor sleep habits on to our children. We also use the most restorative function of the body as a means for punishment. It makes me cringe when I am out and hear a parent say “If you keep being bad, you are going home and straight to bed!”. Sleep is a reward and fostering a positive relationship with sleep for both adult and child will change the path of our future. Getting a good night’s sleep and making a consistent effort to make it a priority increases your chance of more tomorrows and makes them brighter and happier ones. Ask yourself, how is the quality of my sleep?
Soda Kuczkowski is the owner of START WITH SLEEP, an education resource center and retail boutique that focuses on both behavioral and medical sleep health located in Buffalo, NY. She is also the founder of the SE+T™ Sleep Program, a guide for improving sleep quality naturally. She is committed to addressing sleep concerns and questions by providing sleep health education through a channel of various components including sleep consulting, coaching, workshops and health programs.