Save the Pillows-Sleep Apnea Awareness Campaign, Sherry Johnston, NBC’s The Biggest Loser
Sleep Apnea is something I talk about so often because I have sleep apnea. I lived undiagnosed for years! Then after being diagnosed, I lived for years not being compliant with my therapy. Honestly, I did not take it seriously and educate myself on what ignoring my sleep apnea was doing to my health until my time on The Biggest Loser. So when I was asked if I would like to be a part of a new Sleep Apnea Awareness Campaign I said yes, yes, yes!
On the savethepillows.com website and through Twitter, FaceBook, etc., the Pillows help educate us on the dangers of snoring, the impact it can have if ignored and ways to restore better health through better sleep!
What is Save The Pillows all about?
Save the Pillows is a sleep apnea awareness campaign that uses light-hearted humor to address the issue of snoring. The campaign features two bed pillows named “I Snore” and “They Snore”. They live with a chronic snorer and restless bedmate. The Pillows have clearly been subjected to the abuse of many rough nights with restless sleepers – they find their restless sleepers pausing in breathing, gasping for air and pleading for relief so they can take back their nights! I love the humor!
I know my pillow is “I Snore” – I snored so loudly… Once I fell asleep even in the tub. My late husband came up to check on me because he was downstairs in the den below our bathroom. He said my snoring was so loud it was vibrating the pipes in the wall and he was very concerned! Yikes! Yes, I was maybe 32 years old, female, not obese and I was snoring sooooo loudly! Not the image of the “typical snorer”, right? Anyone can have sleep apnea. That was more than 20 years ago……
Come to think about it, my poor pillows throughout the years may have been tortured… You know what I mean, I tried to get comfy but also to a place where I felt I would not snore so I crunched, fluffed and maybe out of total frustration – punched them a few times….. I had no idea the fighting with my pillows to not snore was an indication of something far more serious…sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea is affecting so so many lives and we don’t even think twice about snoring! Did you know:
- More than 22 million Americans have sleep apnea!
- 80% of moderate to severe sleep apnea cases are not diagnosed! (This was ME!)
So are you one of the 22 million Americans that have sleep apnea… Do you know? Is your pillow a “I Snore” or a “They Snore” pillow? Let’s look a little further…
I talk with others about sleep often and the conversation always gets around to snoring. When asked directly about it, the majority respond with a little laughter and one of these questions:
Doesn’t everyone snore?
Snoring is natural – right?
Some tell me they have heard of sleep apnea but don’t really know what it is and some have never heard of it…. So since I’m a patient and not a doctor, let’s get some help from the professionals to tell us what it is. According to the Save The Pillows website:
Sleep apnea is a common, yet often undiagnosed sleep disorder. People who have sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during sleep because the soft tissue in the throat or “airway” collapses, cutting off the flow of air to the lungs. Breathing is often interrupted hundreds of times each night, usually accompanied by heavy snoring and gasps for breath. Surprisingly, the person with sleep apnea rarely realizes it is happening. However, it can keep a concerned partner up all night worrying (or sleeping on the couch). (savethepillows.com)
There are some things that put you at a higher risk for Sleep Apnea like:
- Overweight or obese
- A large neck or tongue
- Extra tissue or crowding in the airway
What are some of the signs and symptoms of Sleep Apnea, I never thought you ask! Again, from the same website:
Nighttime symptoms include:
- Loud or disruptive snoring
- Witnessed pauses in breathing
- Choking or gasping for air during sleep
- Restless sleep
- Frequent visits to the bathroom
Daytime symptoms include:
- Early morning headaches
- Excessive daytime fatigue
- Poor concentration
- Depression or irritability
- Falling asleep during routine activities
Are you saying well….I do experience this symptom and that one and…. Or are you thinking, yes to all of them for me or my bedmate????? So which pillow do you have - a “I Snore” pillow or for someone else “You Snore” pillow?
It’s important to know about sleep apnea! The effects it can have on your body and life are very serious. I know we started out light-hearted punching our pillows and now we are down to real business but you look over the list of serious conditions sleep apnea has been linked to and you will see why we all should pay more attention to the snore:
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heart beat
- Heart disease/heart attack
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Driving and work-related accidents
- Some cancers
With just what I’ve shared, do you think you or someone you love might be one of the 22 million with undiagnosed sleep apnea? Are you at risk? Take the quiz on savethepillows.com to learn more! Knowledge is empowering and life changing!
Don’t ignore the snore!
If you are like me and treat your sleep apnea,
YOU CAN have more energy!
YOU CAN lower your health risks!
YOU CAN have an improved overall quality of life!
YOU CAN take charge of your health!