Struggling to stick to your New Year’s resolutions? A good night’s sleep can help with that!

It’s February! How are your New Year’s resolutions coming along? If you’re struggling to stick with your resolutions, you’re not alone! According to U.S. News, roughly 80% of resolutions fail by mid-February. So how can we be part of the 20% that stick to their resolutions? The answer may be hidden in your sleep! We live such busy lives we don’t often think about how well we slept the night before or how refreshed we feel when we wake up in the morning. What we don’t realize is that sleep quality affects our bodies in many ways which then affect our overall lifestyles. 1. Sleep affects your appetite/diet & metabolism You might ask, “what does sleep have to do with my appetite”? The answer: It helps your body regulate your hunger & appetite. During sleep, your body produces hormones called leptin (suppresses appetite) and ghrelin (promotes feeling of hunger). Studies show that sleep deprivation result in lower leptin levels. This leads to increased appetite and hunger, and can result in binge-eating. According to Van Cauter et. al. (2008), lack of sleep also has a negative effect on glucose/carbohydrate metabolism. It makes it difficult for the body to break it down. Those experiencing increased hunger and appetite are more inclined to eat carbohydrate-rich food and increase consumption which often lead to weight gain or obesity (Sharma & Kavuru, 2010). https://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/funnies-cartoon.asp?id=99 2. Good sleep means healthy immune system Studies have shown that sleep supports immune system functions therefore, long-term sleep deprivation will have a negative effect on your immune system. In a study by Cohen et. al., it was found that those who have poor sleep quality, and...
“I’m so tired, but I can’t sleep! What should I do?”

“I’m so tired, but I can’t sleep! What should I do?”

We’ve all been there. You had a very long and tiring day. Your body is ready to crash, your eyelids are heavy, and you’re yawning non-stop. It’s time to rest and sleep. You lay in bed and close your eyes, but you can’t fall asleep! Now, you’re frustrated which makes it worse. Your mind is wide-awake, thinking about unfinished work, or maybe you’re worried about many things especially during these difficult times. Whatever you are worrying about, it’s clear that the stress is keeping you awake. To help you get a good rest, we’ve compiled these tips to help you clear your mind and de-stress before bed! Take time to wind down: Before going to bed, set aside 30-60 min to wind down and relax. This means avoiding anything that is too stimulating: texting, working on your computer, browsing social media, etc. Incorporate this into your bedtime routine so your body gets used to it and recognizes when you are ready to sleep.  Do some deep breathing: Take a seat and be still. Focus on your breathing as you inhale and exhale. Do this for about 10 minutes. If you find your mind wandering somewhere else, go back and focus on your breathing again.  Meditate: Try meditation to clear your mind. This will help calm your mind and body and help you feel more relaxed.  Take a hot bath to cool down: Yes, it sounds counterintuitive, but studies have shown that taking a hot bath 60-90 minutes before bed can help you fall asleep faster as it relaxes your muscle and changes your body’s core temperature so you go...

COVID-19 UPDATE: REOPENING OUR DOORS

To our Coastal Sleep family, With the ever changing situation surrounding COVID-19, Coastal Sleep is happy to announce our doors will be reopening to in-person patient care starting Monday, June 1st. In our efforts to ensure all patients and staff members’ health and safety remains our top priority, we’d like to share some of the procedural changes you’ll see across our offices.   Social/physical distancing in effect Please respect the floor stickers and signs placed around our entrances, which will guide you to a safe distance for interacting with our front-end staff. All offices will be limiting the number of persons allowed through our doors at one time – kindly note the occupancy number on our front-door signs and wait outside until another patient has left before entering. Personal sanitization Hand sanitizer will be available by our doors for all patients to use as they enter and leave our offices. We ask that all patients wear a reusable or disposable mask when visiting, whether it’s for a sit-down appointment or walk-in session. Patients not wearing a mask when they arrive may be asked to wear one, supplied in limited quantity by our office staff. Office sanitization All “high-touch” areas (door handles, countertops, credit/debit terminal, etc.) will be wiped down with a sanitizing spray in between each use. Seating in our lobbies or within clinician offices will also be sprayed and wiped down between each patient’s visit. All testing equipment is thoroughly disinfected before each patient use, and new equipment will be provided to patients for CPAP therapy Companions We ask that patients attend their own appointments by themselves, unless...
How to get good quality Zzzs

How to get good quality Zzzs

Our everyday lives have changed since the start of the pandemic. A lot of us are staying at home and have had to change our routines to fit our new situation. For many, these routine changes have also affected their sleep in a negative way. You may feel like you’re not sleeping well, or not sleeping enough. Here are some tips to help you catch up on some good quality Zzzs and hopefully get you back on track for a good night’s sleep. Follow a regular schedule. With many of us staying home and/or working from home, our routines have been broken and therefore our sleep schedule may have also changed. Some of us may be sleeping later than usual or waking up later than usual. Keep regular bedtime and wake-up times to help you sleep better and help maintain your sleep routine. Adhere to working hours Since the start of the pandemic, many of us have switched to working remotely instead of going to the office. As a result, many are starting to work longer hours than their usual work time. Do your best to follow your usual working hours as if you were working in the office. This allows for more time for you to relax and de-stress before going to bed.  “Those in the U.S. have logged on for an additional three hours per day compared to patterns seen before March 11 — a 40% jump — according to data from virtual private network service provider NordVPN Teams. In … Canada, the working day has extended by an average of two hours, with many people starting work...

Sleep and Your Immune System: What’s the connection?

  Sleep has a big impact on your health. Constant sleep deprivation greatly affects your immune system and can therefore make you more susceptible to catching a cold or the flu. It is very important now, more than ever, to keep your immune system strong.    Why does sleep matter to my immune system? During sleep, your body is still technically “awake” and it rejuvenates itself. Your body also produces Cytokines– a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation. Cytokines are also released during sleep. Chronic sleep loss means that your body is not producing and releasing enough cytokines, reducing your body’s ability to effectively respond to infection and inflammation.  Sleep has also been found to improve immune cells called T Cells. According to Dr. Stoyan Dimitrov, “T cells are a type of… immune cells that fight against intracellular pathogens, for example virus-infected cells such as flu, HIV, herpes, and cancer cells,” (Healthline, 2019).  T cells play an important role in your body’s immune system. When these cells recognize a virally infected cell, T cells attach to these infected cells and kill them by activating integrins, a sticky type of protein.  The study by Dr. Stoyan et. al compare the T cells from healthy volunteers who either slept or stayed awake all night. Their study found that the participants who slept had T cells that showed higher levels of integrin activation compared to the T cells of those who were awake.   Taking care of yourself Adults need a minimum of seven hours sleep every night for improved health and well-being. While we’re all in the midst of...
COVID-19: How to stay safe & healthy

COVID-19: How to stay safe & healthy

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, regular cleaning and maintenance of your CPAP equipment are essential. Now, more than ever, patients should ensure that their equipment is cleaned and replaced regularly to ensure you minimize the risk of sinus/chest infections associated with poor maintenance.  The CDC recommends that you should clean and disinfect your medical equipment as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Cleaning directions normally include regular cleaning with soap and water. For more detailed cleaning instructions, check out these links:  Philips Respironics ResMed Having clean and well-maintained equipment can help reduce bacteria and in-turn prevent sickness. Clean equipment also ensures that you are getting optimal therapy and a good night’s sleep which helps boost your immune system! What to do if you have COVID-19? If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and use a CPAP machine, it is important to talk to your medical provider regarding use of your medical equipment.  Other tips to stay healthy:  Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and waterPractice social/physical distancing (at least 2m distance)Cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or flexed elbow when you cough or sneezeExercise or go for walks (while maintaining physical distance)Stay home and self-isolate from others in the household if you feel unwell If you have any questions or concerns regarding your CPAP therapy, please do not hesitate to reach out to your Respiratory Therapist or call your Coastal Sleep location.  COVID-19 Resources: Frequently asked questions about COVID-19: World Health Organization (WHO)Common myths vs. facts about COVID-19: WHOHealthy hygiene: WHOTips for health workers: WHOTips for people at higher risk for serious illness: CDCGlobal travel...

How to fall in love with your CPAP!

After you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, the next step is to get the proper treatment. This means getting set up with a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine and a face mask that goes along with it. This can be a daunting experience at first. In fact, the most common reaction we hear is “Woah! I look like Darth Vader!”. Yes, using a CPAP for the first time can be a bit intimidating, but if you have a little patience and willingness to try, you may just fall in love with your CPAP machine! Your first night(s): Like with any new device, it may take some time to get used to your CPAP machine and mask. It’s important to remember that everyone is different. Some patients can get used to the machine right away, while others may take some time. After you’ve been fitted with the CPAP and mask, the best way to get used to the equipment is to start using it.  We recommend putting on your CPAP mask and starting the machine a couple of hours before you actually go to bed. Have it on while you’re watching TV, browsing on your phone or while you’re reading. By doing so, your body can get used to the air pressure and the feeling of having a mask on your face. This will make things easier for you once you actually go to sleep.  Humidity is your best friend:  New CPAP users sometimes struggle with having a dry nose or throat due to the air pressure. This may cause them to give up using their machine. Fortunately, new...
How to keep your CPAP Clean?

How to keep your CPAP Clean?

Eating healthy and exercising are great ways to stay healthy, but these are not the only things you need to do in order to feel your best. Taking good care of your CPAP machine is also essential. A well-cleaned and well-maintained CPAP ensures that your therapy is working properly. It also helps the machine last longer! Phoebe Ochman (Director of Communications for Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America) said that “It is vitally important to keep everything as clean as possible, as hoses/tubing and masks can be a prime breeding ground for bacteria and mold.” Bacteria in your equipment can lead to colds and other respiratory problems.  You don’t need to do a deep clean all the time. We understand that life gets pretty busy at times, so here are some daily and weekly cleaning tips to help you take care of your CPAP machine and keep it running smoothly:  Daily Cleaning:  CPAP Machine Give your machine a quick wipe down to remove any dirt or dust that’s stuck on the machine.   CPAP Mask Get into the habit of wiping down your CPAP mask every day. Make sure to include any areas that are in contact with your skin. You can use a damp cloth to wipe off any oils, dead skin cells and sweat on the mask. You can also use CPAP wipes which are specifically designed to clean your equipment.  If left uncleaned, these residues will accumulate over time and affect the mask’s seal. A quick wipe and air dry every day can help reduce residue accumulation.  Humidifier: If you use a humidifier, Phoebe Ochman recommends to...

Is your CPAP blowing water in your face? You might be experiencing CPAP Rainout!

What is “rainout”? CPAP rainout occurs when cold temperature meets warm air in your machine. If your room is cold, the warm air from your CPAP is cooled and turns into condensation. The water droplets are blown through your hose and causes your machine to splash water on your face. This can be very uncomfortable and may cause patients to wake up in the middle of the night.  What to do?  Here are some simple steps to avoid rainout:  Use Heated tubing: Rainout is caused by heated air cooling within your CPAP hose. Using a heated hose can help maintain the warm temperature of the air until it reaches your mask.  Use a hose cover/insulator:   You can also use a hose wrap which helps insulate the tube’s temperature and keep the air warm. This is very helpful if you prefer to keep your room cold.  Adjust your room temperature Raising your room temperature at night can help reduce the difference between the room and your CPAP’s humidifier.  Adjust your CPAP humidity level Alternatively, you can change your CPAP humidity level to match close to your room temperature.  Use automatic settings Some CPAP machines are able to automatically adjust the temperature/humidity throughout the night. Ask your Respiratory Therapist about automatic adjustments. Try these tips if you are experiencing rainout. You can also speak to your Respiratory Therapist for more information!...
Back to School Sleep Tips for Students!

Back to School Sleep Tips for Students!

School is back in session and that means going back to our daily routines. That being said, transitioning from summer break to a new school year can be difficult, especially when it comes to sleep! According to the National Sleep Foundation, having a healthy sleep routine is also a necessity that should be on our back-to-school list. Here are some tips to help students get back on track with their sleep:  Gradually adjust sleep and wake times 1-2 weeks before the start of school. This will help reset your biological clock to the new times and you can get used to it sooner. Keep a regular sleep schedule even during weekends. This will help you regulate your biological clock and keep you in the routine. Maintain a relaxing bedtime routine to help you wind down. Make sure that this routine is the same every night so you can associate it with sleep. Create a sleep environment that is cool, quiet, and comfortable. Take gadgets out of the bedroom. Using electronics before bed can lead to poor sleep. Put screens away at least an hour before going to sleep. Eat well and exercise regularly.  Irregular sleep can affect your ability to focus in class, hence affecting your ability to learn and retain information. Follow the tips above, and check good night’s sleep off your back-to-school...