Sterling feels tired, pretty much everyday. This isn’t a huge surprise. He works long hours at a stressful job as a corporate accountant (where every season is tax season). But he’s made huge strides recently, better managing his stress and not bringing it home from work. Things are better, especially with the new puppy he and his wife just adopted. So why is he so tired?
Sterling’s dad was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea, and his wife, a dental hygienist, was wondering if this might be afflicting Sterling as well. His sleep talking, restlessness and occasional gasping breath certainly sounded like it was possible. At the same time that he began to think about his sleep, Sterling was also diagnosed with ADD. While the medication was absolutely helping with his daily stress levels, he was also aware that ADD is sometimes a misdiagnosis of the symptoms that arise from sleep apnea. So when his wife heard about Knit Health, an in-home sleep analysis technology, it seemed like an excellent opportunity to feel 100% comfortable with his ADD diagnosis.
The assessment with Knit was even less intrusive than Sterling thought it could be. The camera vision technology doesn’t require any wearables, and having multiple nights tracked for the study produced data that was even more informative than he had anticipated. Outside of assessing his risk for a sleep breathing issue, the report analyzed other important factors of his sleep health, including routine and sleep quality. The expert-reviewed report revealed that he was indeed experiencing a mild number of sleep breathing disturbances, along with steps to take to mitigate the issue before a sleep apnea diagnosis. In addition, the report pointed out the detrimental effects of his erratic sleep schedule, also with steps to take to stabilize. Overall, the recommendations presented were customized to his data, not a laundry list of possible avenues he could take.
With all of the personalized information and tips in the report, Sterling immediately took steps to improve his sleep. As allergens were one of the potential issues identified, he made a number of changes to mitigate them. First, he began washing his bedding more frequently (at least once a week). Then he tried out a technique of raising the upper half of his body with pillows at a 30 degree angle. Finally, he also limited the amount of time the new puppy could be in the bedroom. He knows that ideally keeping the dog out of the room entirely would be the perfect solution, but he just can’t resist in the middle of the night when the pup wants to cuddle. Outside of allergens, Sterling began making a concerted effort to improve his routine and stick to a strict 8-hour sleep schedule.
All of the changes he made definitely produced results. While none was perfect, or a magic bullet, the improvement he experienced was undeniable. He plans to continue making improvements, including installing an air purifier in his bedroom and finding a nighttime allergy medication that interacts well with his daytime medication (by ensuring they have different active ingredients). Sterling knows that each step takes him closer to his goal of optimal sleep.
Once Sterling was sure that his ADD was causing his daytime issues, he was also able to use Knit to evaluate the way that the medication was affecting his sleep. His new attention to his sleep patterns made him notice that when he took his second dose at 3pm instead of his usual 1pm because he was so busy at work, he had a difficult time winding down for his 10pm bedtime. This made him more aware and conscientious about the timing he took his medication, even on days he was busy.
Overall, Sterling feels much more confident day-to-day, both in his sleep health and overall health, from a combination of Knit’s analysis and the ADD diagnosis and medication. He also is more attuned to sleep as an issue and notices the volume of people he knows who struggle.
“There are so many ways not to optimize your sleep, from using screens before bed, to stress, to allergies, to not sleeping enough, the list goes on. There are also so many ways to fix your sleep that even if you do want to improve, the sheer number of possibilities and ‘best practices’ can seem overwhelming. Knit was able to identify the issues that were specifically affecting my sleep and gave me steps to take to counteract them.”