So you’ve got sleep apnea? Daunted by treatment options? What can you do?
What impact does sleep apnea have on our overall health?
Most people with sleep apnea are most concerned with the daytime affects of poor quality sleep rather than what happens at night time. What symptom concerns you the most?
People with sleep apnea generally present to their doctor with daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, witnessed breathing interruptions or awakenings due to gasping or choking.
Symptoms of sleep apnea can be difficulty concentrating, depression, learning and memory difficulties and personality changes.
Sleep apnea can also increase the risk of high blood pressure, hypertension and insulin resistance, and is associated with heart attack, cardiac arrhythmia, and stroke.
From a wellness perceptive, sleep apnea can impact on many domains of our wellness. Domains impacted are biological, social, and psychological domains of the patient’s quality of life.
So what can we do?
Lifestyle changes which can improve our sleep apnea are centred around being at our optimal weight, managing chronic illnesses well along with managing our stress levels.
It’s best to only work on a few areas of our life at a time. So, if we take just one of the lifestyle aspects associated with sleep apnea. For the sake of this article, let’s choose reduction in stress. What has worked for you in the past when implementing changes to reduce stress? Here we will do a goal setting activity to introduce regular mindfulness to our day with the aim of helping with sleep apnea and overall health.
GOAL WORKSHEET – What do you want to achieve?
Describe your goal, being as specific as possible:
I will introduce 10 minutes of mindfulness meditation every day.
Set a deadline for the completion of your goal:
In one week I will have introduced mindfulness practice every day.
Make sure you clearly articulate why you want to reach this goal:
I will introduce mindfulness meditation to improve my quality of life, specifically my sleep apnea symptoms.
List the obstacles in your way, and how you plan to overcome them:
- Getting busy and not prioritising this.
- Not feeling immediate results
Recognize three qualities you have which will help you reach your goal:
- good time management
Week 1: I will research and trial 3 different mindfulness practices over the week.
Week 2: Sunday night – schedule in my mindfulness practice times for the week.
Each week we should refine your steps to reach your goal. Every Sunday reflect back on the week. What steps worked well? What didn’t go so well? Then go about making the next step to reaching your goal.
How will you know if you reach your goal?
This goal is measurable because we have set a goal of practising mindfulness 7 days a week. It will be reached once we are doing this. Set backs are part of life and we may need to refine and change our goals. This is OK.
Have a go at setting a goal you would like to achieve yourself or make an appointment with a wellness coach.
If you have any questions about setting goals please email me.
Need more information about how you can sleep better?
At Sleephub we understand the struggle people endure with sleeping problems which is why we have created a comprehensive FAQs page with information for those seeking information about sleep disorders and potential solutions.