Several years ago I saw a documentary,” Who Needs Sleep?” about the importance of sleep, and the dangers of lack of sleep.  Renowned cinematographer Haskell Wexler was inspired to make the film after the death of his friend, a young crew member who fell asleep at the wheel following an 18-hour work day.  The film made an impression on me, because it examined the effects of being sleep deprived and its impact on just about every area of our lives – most importantly our overall health.

Along with the “microsleeps” that many of us unknowingly experience while driving late at night when we are overtired, which Haskell examined in the documentary, there are likewise moments of waking during sleep that prevent us from true, replenishing rest. One of the most common causes of these momentary awakenings is sleep apnea.  Besides sleepiness during the day, other side effects of sleep apnea are risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and secondary impact – sleepiness of your bed partner.

The good news is that there is a sleep apnea machine that can provide relief.   My uncle who suffered from sleep apnea began using a CPAP device, as they are known, and it helped to reduce his symptoms greatly.  While even a decade ago these devices were not widely used, now doctors are much more aware of the benefits and recommending them to their patients.   Today you do not have to get the devices through a doctor or hospital – you can purchase them online at outlets like The CPAP Shop, which features a variety of sleep aid products and services.  As one would expect, there is a savings by buying a CPAP online; but I imagine most people who desire a good night’s sleep are willing to pay any price.  As the saying goes, “What is a good night’s sleep worth?”

Advertisements