It’s no secret that a poorly rested freelancer is tired, cranky, and probably less productive than he or she would be with a decent night’s sleep. There are plenty of observations about this, among them the blog post 10+ Ways To Get a Better Night’s Sleep. But staying away from caffeine, alcohol, and an inactive lifestyle aren’t going to help some people enough to change the game.
Between 30 and 50 percent of the U.S. population snores, “at some time or another” according to data from the University of California, Irvine. Snoring itself is not the problem, but sleep apnea can be for between four and 13 percent of snoring U.S. citizens, as many as 18 million people depending on which data you read. Sleep apnea is essentially a type of breathing interruption during sleep. Symptoms include “excessive daytime sleepiness”, a feeling of being mentally dull or not up to 100% effectiveness. Headache, sore throats, and even hypertension can be linked to sleep apnea.
Some cases aren’t severe, some are more serious. But the freelancer who snores or suffers from sleep apnea is likely not getting good rest, and suffering from that lack of rest more than people who simply have to watch the coffee intake after lunchtime or adopt a healthier lifestyle. Do you snore? Are you tired and washed out reading this blog post? Looking for something to do about it before it seriously affects (or continues to affect) your freelance career?
A personal sleep study may be a good idea to consider, but there are a few things you can try to reduce your snoring first. Avoiding alcohol close to bed time is a no-brainer, but using “breathing strips” such as Breathe Right to open your nasal passages could have surprising results.
Don’t take that as encouragement to avoid seeing a doctor, getting an expert opinion or trying a sleep study. Sleep apnea can be a major problem for some sufferers and expert medical advice is crucial in such cases. But for those who snore, suspect they might have a sleep interruption because of it, and want to try a low-cost solution could find the breathing strips in combination with other suggested healthy sleep steps like avoiding caffeine and alcohol to be a very good move toward more healthy sleep.
I write all this to say that in my own case, being one of those four to 13 percenters who likely have snoring and/or sleep apnea related issues, the breathing strips really do work. I notice a remarkable difference in the quality of sleep with them, especially in combination with allergy meds during the hay fever season, plus diet and exercise changes. These things, working together, make my daytime hours much more productive. Learn more about sleep apnea at the University of California Irvine official site.
Joe Wallace is a writer, editor, social media addict, and rabid audio consumer. He is currently working on his book WTF Records: The Turntabling Guide To Weird and Wonderful Vinyl and blogs about all things vinyl-related at Turntabling.net