Do you feel tired throughout the day, even after getting in the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep? You are not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 70% of Americans report experiencing regular sleep problems and 50 to 60% of the population has a diagnosed sleep disturbance. What’s more, people suffering from inadequate sleep are more likely to suffer from other health conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. The good news is that, with proper treatment, 85 to 90% of people with sleep problems are able to resolve their sleep disturbance and improve their quality of their sleep. If you generally feel fatigued throughout the day, measuring your blood oxygen level and heart rate could help to reveal the cause of your sleep disturbance and help you get your sleep back on track.
Improve your sleep quality by monitoring your blood oxygen levels.
Your blood oxygen level (known in medical circles as arterial oxygen saturation or spO2) refers to the percentage of oxygenated hemoglobin in your blood. Each hemoglobin molecule contains four sites where oxygen can bind to and the percentage of these sites bound to an oxygen determines your oxygen saturation. For the average healthy person, spO2 varies between 94% to 99% saturated. Patients with a mild respiratory condition have an spO2 reading lower than this but above 90%. Levels below 90% indicate a need for a need for a respiratory apparatus. Although temporary or infrequent desaturations could be caused by moving, swallowing, or holding your breath – a prolonged or reoccurring drop in spO2 during the night could signal a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea.
Get deeper sleep by changing your night-time routine.
If a sleep disorder is not the cause of your sleepless nights, taking a closer look at your pre-sleep activities could reveal the culprit, and it might not be what you think. While avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed are some of the more well-known points on the list, refraining from key activities such as eating, intensive exercise, or technology (phones, tv, computer) an hour before bed could greatly improve how rested you feel in the morning. Engaging in behaviours that promote sleep is medically termed “sleep hygiene” and our next blog will address what behaviours you can engage in to fall asleep faster and get deeper sleep.
Want to monitor your quality of sleep and oxygen saturation? The road to a healthier and happier you involves many small steps, made simple with Health Gauge.