Friday, April 28, 2017

Sleep and Hard Decisions

Sometimes the sponsored posts are fun. I get to try something new, sync up with a bunch of cool people, and make a few bucks to keep this blog running. This one was not as fun. It brought up some hard decisions. It caused some difficult discussions. Even as I am writing this I don’t know what the answers are, but before I get into all that let me just say: This post is sponsored by Beautyrest and in partnership with Life of Dad. All opinions are mine.

Beauty Rest sent me a sleep tracker that I have been using for the last thirty days to keep track of how much or, in most cases, how little I am sleeping. It is a pretty amazing little piece of technology. A sensor placed between my mattress and my box frame monitors my movements, my breathing, and my heart rate throughout the night. The plan was to use it for 30 days and see how much I could improve my sleeping. Stevie and I both put one on our side of the bed and every morning we look at how we slept, how our heart and breathing rates were, and how many times we woke up.

We woke up a lot. And it is my fault.

All those orange parts are me waking up.

Here’s the thing, and this is embarrassing and hard for me to write about. I snore. I snore loudly. I always have, but as I’ve gotten older and heavier it has gotten worse. It affects a lot of different aspects of my life. I am hesitant to share rooms with people on trips. I am terrified of dozing off on airplanes. My kids refuse to sleep in our bed. (Ok, that last one has come in handy.)

Stevie is a champ about it, and incredibly kind, but I know it is affecting her. It is affecting me too. I am tired all the time. I drink way more coffee than I should. I have low energy during the day. I am basically a walking checklist of the symptoms of Sleep Apnea. I know it. Stevie knows it. I just haven’t wanted to admit it.

Stevie has asked me to go to the doctor multiple times. I haven’t listened. I’ve gotten embarrassed and angry, which isn’t fair to her. I just know what they are going to say. They are going to tell me I am fat and that being not-fat is going to help. They are going to tell me that if I can’t be not-fat then I am going to need to wear a CPAP to sleep. A CPAP is a machine you wear while sleeping, and honestly, as someone who feels claustrophobic if there is a blanket near my face, I can’t think of a worse living hell than having the rest of my nights of sleep be consigned to a plastic breathing tube.

But there it is on our sleep reports, plain as day. I am keeping us up. My breathing rate is dropping. Stevie even recorded me snoring and played it for me. You know that feeling you get when someone takes an unflattering photo of you and you get a glimpse of what the world sees you like when you’re not sucking it in or holding the camera at the best angle? That gut punch feeling of confirmation of all your self-conscious fears crashing in on top of you like a wave shitty truth tumbling you over and over and pulling you back into a nightmare you’ve been doing your best not to look at? Try watching three minutes of yourself snorting and gurgling and trying to breath on a normal Tuesday night. Try realizing that this is what your wife lives with… what she sleeps with. I feel like a broken monster.

And the solution? Well I’ve been trying to not be fat for a decade, so I suppose I will keep up that fight. In the meantime, I will see a doctor and hook myself up to the CPAP to see if it will help. I have my doubts, and my fears, and my self-deprecating thoughts… but those aren’t going away regardless of whether I am hooked up to a machine. Maybe at least Stevie and I will be able to sleep.

Thanks to Beautyrest and Life of Dad for involving me in this campaign. I know it didn’t turn out as cheerful as others, but the technology worked to shine some light on things that needed to be addressed. For that, I am grateful. And even though I did not improve my sleep over the 30 Day test, my hope is that the truths I am going to be facing over the next few weeks will eventually lead to both Stevie and I sleeping healthily through the night.

Anyway, thanks for reading. I need to go make a doctor’s appointment now. If any of you have had similar experiences or advice, all comments are appreciated. If you want to learn more about the Beautyrest Sleeptracker you can check it out here. It works really well and I am am happy it came into our lives when it did.


  1. My husband had the same issues, and for years I told him to get checked out. WHen he finally did and got settled in with the CPAP our lives got so much better! He doesn't fall asleep sitting in the chair anymore when we try and have family time, and I dont get woken up multiple times a night by his snoring or by his breathing stopping. Its an adjustment I know, but it was the best thing that could have happened, it made him feel healthier.

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