Each week on In Focus, we’ll share topics that will help you, the patient, live happier and better. It might be one article, or two, or five. It might be a video or a word of motivation. We hope you enjoy this new feature of our website.
To keep up the pace, I put myself through a series of self-imposed tortures that included overcaffeinating and taking catnaps in place of real sleep. I was 26 and felt invincible. I figured I could handle the pressure, so I ignored repeated headaches, blurred vision and general exhaustion.
Early one summer morning in 2001, I arrived at the office and felt a slight buzzing in my right eye and some tingly numbness in my hands, which I dismissed as mere morning grogginess. A little later, I stood up to make a presentation at a team meeting. A colleague later told me she saw my mouth droop as my words started slurring.
The next thing I knew, someone was saying: “You’ve had a stroke. We have to run a scan to figure out what’s going on. Do you understand?”
70 million Americans are sleep deprived. But sleep isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.
But being sleep-deprived shouldn’t be a badge of honor. The truth is those hours of lost sleep add up to a bigger health deficit than you may realize, says Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer, DO, MS, Director of Cleveland Clinic Sleep Disorders Center.
“We need sleep so we can restore nutrients, replenish the spirit and refresh the mind,” Dr. Foldvary-Schaefer stresses. “Hidden health hazards accumulate during periods of sleeplessness, and they can’t be covered up with concealer or reversed with caffeine.”
“If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges.” ~ Pat Riley