How a Simple Machine Changed (and probably lengthened) My Life

I used to be a bit of a napper.

Well, that’s not completely accurate: I used to be an habitual napper. I could nap on demand. I could fall asleep on the couch before lunch, after lunch, before dinner, before bed…

One day, sitting on the couch at lunch I tilted my head over and dozed off. I woke up with a serous kink in my neck and discovered I’d been out for over two hours.

Then there was the time we were driving through mountain pass and I jerked up in my seat and told Kristin “I just woke up from a sleep! And the reason I know I was sleeping is because I was just dreaming!”

Time to do something about it.

I mentioned my sleepiness to a doctor, who referred me to a sleep clinic. Sure enough I had some pretty serious sleep apnea.

Long story short, I now use a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine.

And my napping has all but disappeared.

If I get anything north of five hours of sleep I am good for the day ahead. I usually wake up refreshed and I have a highly productive morning followed by a productive nap-free afternoon.

Certainly there are some other practices which help. I’ve mentioned them in How to Have a Productive Afternoon.

But a truly solid night’s sleep is the foundation.

In the office of the sleep clinic where I had my tests done and got my CPAP, there was a poster infographic showing the associations with sleep apnea. Heart issues, stroke, diabetes, depression…pretty much everything it seemed to me.

So I’m pretty sure that in addition to boosting my energy and productivity, that little CPAP machine has extended my life.

All the above to say this, which I have said to many in recent months: If you aren’t getting a good night’s sleep, please make solving that problem one of your top priorities.

You’ll live better and longer.

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