Exactly, how far did things have to go before I did something? – Deborah Mulvany
So how do you wake in the morning? Full of the joys and springing out of bed? Or does it feel like having to drag yourself out, wondering where the night had gone? Perhaps you wake in the night, or are disturbed by your partner’s snoring or bedtime habits. Read Deb’s story on how close she came to losing everything on a motorway one morning:
I’m driving down the M2, heading for Dartford’s Metis Women meeting. Only gone about 5 miles and already I’m yawning, my concentrations drifting, the music’s blaring trying to keep myself alert. I open the window; perhaps the cold air will do the trick. It’s not working. I’m really struggling to keep my focus. I need to stay alert. I jump and realise I had almost fallen asleep. I take several deep breaths; try singing at the top of my voice; just to keep myself awake. I’m past the Bluebell Hill turn off, going down the hill to the river Medway Bridge. Loud horns screech, and I jump out of my skin. Panic surges through my body. I realise I fell asleep at the wheel and had drifted into the lane next to me. I jerk back into my lane. Heart pounding! Hyperventilating! Feeling physically sick! It hits me really hard how lucky I had just been. Lucky, that I was in the central lane on a four-lane bridge. Lucky, the car next to me had the freedom to swerve out of my way. The realisation that I just frightened the life out of someone, whose life, must have just flashed before their eyes.
I need to stop, there is a garage a bit further up the road I will get a coffee, have a break, then call the meeting and tell them I will be a bit late. But can I make it to the garage let alone the meeting? I have two further micro sleeps on the way to the garage. I’m really scared. Even with adrenaline flooding through my body I still can’t keep my eyes open, the lids are so heavy. Finally I make it to the garage, with a massive sigh of relief; I pull into one of the parking slots outside the garage shop. The next thing I remember is waking up with a jump and I thought it had been a couple of minutes but actually I had been asleep for over two hours. What am I going to do?! I have missed most of my meeting now, it has gone 11am, it would be lunacy to try and go further anyway. I call in to let them know I’m turning back to go home. Setting off terrifies me but what am I going to do? I have to get home. How will I get back safely?
A large coffee and two large bags of wine gums, Caffeine and sugar are the only two things I can think of, that may keep me awake. Keep my sugar levels high. I’m not used to sugar it tends to give me a buzz, and a wired high. But I need to stop me crashing, so I will just have to eat them steadily all the way back to Faversham. But I’m exhausted, I can’t do it. Next thing I know I jump awake, another start, another hour and a half asleep in the car. “This is ridiculous,” I said, “this is scary”. Half a bag of wine gums and another coffee, later, OK I was ready to get going.
The journey back, I was buzzing on sugar, terrified of falling asleep again, music on, windows open, deep breathing, all to stay awake. Concentrate. I arrive back home safe but mentally blown, shaking, terrified, I feel sick. I cry! I almost lost my life to this thing, called sleep deprivation. I finally admit defeat I can’t find the answer for myself, I need help, I call my GP for an appointment.
For the last 4 years my sleep had been getting more and more disturbed, from two or three night time visits to the toilet, but always being able to get back to sleep, until gradually the visits became more and more frequent. Occasionally, I would wake up and find my legs dead, simply because I had fallen asleep still on the toilet. Funny! I would laugh about that too. In the end the longest I was able to lay-down and what I thought was sleep was an hour; I would wake with a start every hour, get up for the toilet and go back to bed. I was exhausted all the time, fell asleep in meetings. I couldn’t read any more, because I would be fast asleep before I had even read a sentence, emails were a nightmare, I would try at least 4 or 5 times to read long ones.
I did extensive research on sleep issues, until I had come up with all sorts of strategies that were extensively studied, from your environment, which was easy to sort out, getting rid of technology from the bedroom, light levels, black out blinds, to making sure it was not hot or too cold. In the end we had even bought a new bed. Nothing seemed to make a difference, I installed all the recommended routines, I turned over every rock looking for an answer and learnt everything there was to know about sleep. But the one thing I was almost certain it was I couldn’t fix myself. After fixing everything else, I had to get it checked out. Hence the call I made to my GP.
Waiting for the appointment was torture; I couldn’t be trusted to drive more than a couple of miles which basically limited my travelling to around town. Anything more and I needed someone else to drive. Friends and colleagues will remember well, me falling asleep during conversations as well as in meetings. But finally I had the appointment, my sleep study, testing me for sleep apnoea; I get the results, 100% conclusive. You’re suffering from sleep Apnoea, a condition where air pathways get closed off and you stop breathing whilst asleep. You wake up because your oxygen levels drop and you wake with a start in order to kick start the breathing again. I was doing this 75% of the time which was classed as severe. The answer was simple a CPAP machine that would force my airways to stay open during the night. They said it would take some practice and time to get used to the machine, but anyone that knows me will understand, I said to myself, “Sod that I’m doing it straightway”. The first time that I practiced breathing with the mask on was for 20 mins, “I can do this”, so all set up I get into bed, mask on, light out. It took me about an hour and a half for my breathing to settle and my mind to switch off.
I jump awake! What the hell its light? What time is it? Oh its 5am, what happened? I had slept a solid 6 hours in what felt like a second, for the first time in about 5 years. I sat there as shock and relief sunk in. Thank god.
My question to all the readers of this is! How far does your, or your loved ones, sleep disturbances have to get before you solve the issues? Especially if I share with you that even mild sleep deprivation can have severe consequences to your health, including weight gain, heart issues, cognitive function disturbance and many more issues.
Although your symptoms may not be as severe as mine, not getting a good night’s sleep is critical to your health and your business. Join my wellness workshop this Tuesday 25th July, and let me help you get the best night sleep. Bring your partner too, and get twice the benefit. Click here for more details and to book your place to your Sweet Dreams.
Book reviews – Start with your sock draw
At this week’s Faversham meeting Jane Lowther mentioned a book from author Vicky Silverthorn that has really helped her with decluttering, and putting in systems to help going forward. Here’s the review from Jane:
Having both my knees replaced in the last two years meant that I wasn’t able to keep things in the house as tidy as I would like. I’m pretty good at having a clear out but I didn’t feel I was doing it properly, and then I read an article called ‘start with your sock drawer’.
The emphasis is really not only on decluttering but on putting easy systems in place that will make life easier. Lots of us start clearing out but quickly get fed up as we tackle too large a job. I read the book on holiday on my kindle and was so impressed that I bought a hard copy as there are lots of points I wanted to refer back to. Having started with the sock drawer I’ve been almost all the way through the house and garage! So what are you waiting for start with the sock drawer!
We are moving!
From 4th August our Ashford meeting will become Ashford-Folkestone with a move to the stunning location of Westenhanger Castle for its re-launch.
Join us on the day for a full program, and a Cream Tea on the lawn afterwards.
10:00am – 1:00pm – The Centre-Mind Body Spirit (next to the Medway M2 services)
>> Last Chance – Life Skills, Sleep & Wellness – Tuesday 25th July – Deborah Mulvany – Not sleeping well can have a devastating effect on your life, from lowered concentration levels, falling asleep at work or even worse falling asleep while driving. Whatever is keeping you awake at night, your snoring partner, over active brain or a host of physical factors, Deborah can help. This workshop will teach you everything you need to know about lack of sleep, it’s causes and effects, and most importantly, how to change your night to refresh and restore you leaving you raring to go in the morning.
Includes guest co-host Karyn Galpin from Meadow Reiki, who is going to teach and guide attendees through a body scan to add into your bedtime routine to help the body relax
Saving Your Time & Money – Tuesday 26th September – This workshop could potentially cover its cost many times over. Finding time to sort the numbers in your business can be hard – but they are critical to making sure you are working on the right things in your business. Find out where the money is going, stop any leaks, and identify where to spend it better to get more return on your investment.
Workshops are open to members and guests – & not just women 🙂
Book your place now. Links are below.
Ashford-Folkestone – 4th August, Note New Location >>>Westenhanger Castle – Relaunching at our new venue.
* Sponsored by Westenhanger Castle, Wedding, Meetings & Conferences,
Maidstone-Medway – 11th August, The Centre – Mind Body Sprit, Moto Services, M2 London Bound – Learn Session: Caroline Love, Creating an Online Course
* Sponsored by The Centre – Mind Body Sprit, Workshops, Healing, Therapies
Faversham – 17th August, Judd’s Folly – Learn Session: Haya Kalechman
* Sponsored by Judds Folly, Hotel, Restaurant & Wedding Venue
Meetings run from 9:30 (For networking) – 12:00
Book Now:We are currently not running any meetings, for further details see our facebook page
Have a good weekend
Amanda & The Metis Women Team