A Bit on Sleep

I’m sitting on the deck at my in-laws’ lake house in Horseshoe Bay. It’s a balmy 72 degrees this morning. Lake LBJ is calm.

It’s Thanksgiving! This marks the start of my season of self-reflection. Sharpening the Saw, in Covey-speak. This year has sped by so quickly. We made it through another hip surgery. Our child has grown a few inches. Another year invested in career.

In the back half of this year, I’ve also taken to minimalism as a way to get clutter under control. I’ve been down on technology recently, as gadgets seem to be contributing to the clutter. Credit the trends of Internet of Things (IoT) and Technology for Technology’s Sake.

However, two pieces of technology have stood out this year as game changers for me. The first – my CPAP. My wife had been harping on me for months, if not years for snoring. She would wake me up at least twice every night for it, and those interruptions were becoming just as bad as my sleep apparently was.

I went in for a sleep study in August, and was diagnosed with a moderate case of OST – Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The prescription – CPAP.  It took a few nights to get used to it. Every night since has life-changing. I didn’t know what I was missing in a good night’s sleep. The years of being exhausted all day, every day. I even used to spend most lunch hours during the past year or two napping in my car. Now, I often have to console myself for not taking action on this sooner.

The second piece of pivotal technology this year was a corporate gift. The FitBit Flex. It’s little more than a digital pedometer, but the psychological effect it (and its accompanying food logging app) has had has been dramatic.

The combination of the CPAP and the FitBit has given me the will – and a yardstick for – taking better care of myself. My energy level is consistently high. I have more discipline to get up earlier in the morning and exercise, and the willpower to make better food choices.

Good sleep is so important to everything working. My PSA for the day is to go get yourself a sleep study if you have any concerns about your energy level or quality of sleep.

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