Ignoring the Importance Of Sleep Almost Killed Me

Health and Wellness

Senior couple showing that they know the importance of sleep.

For years I said “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Little did I know that my proclamation was killing me.

I don’t know about you, but the family I grew up in didn’t understand the importance of sleep. In our family, people who slept in, or slept too much, were lazy. And we thought 8 hours was too much.

That was my reality and my belief for most of my life, because that’s what my dad and mom believed. Now don’t get me wrong, my mom and dad are great people and I love them, but my dad grew up on a farm and my mom grew up in a small town, and that’s just what they grew up with as well.

So for most of my life, I proudly proclaimed that I didn’t need much sleep and that there was all of eternity to sleep when I was dead and gone!

Jay hooked up to sleep machines. The importance of sleep

For years I wore that mantra like a badge of courage and strength because our family came from pioneer stock.

And little did I know that my proclamation was killing me.

My sister Kelly, who was an RN at the time, suggested I get a sleep test. “Nay, I’m fine,” I would protest, but she knew better.

So as you’ll see in this video it wasn’t until I got on Biggest Loser that I got the wake-up call that there was a pretty good chance that I just might go to sleep one night and never wake up.

By the skin of my teeth, I made it on the show and wore a heart monitor 24/7 so Dr. H could keep track of my every move. At first it seemed crazy for me to stay on the Ranch if what I had was so risky, but they knew that chances were if I went home at that point, I would keep gaining weight and I wouldn’t have access to a CPAP machine.

So that’s why for the first couple of months, all of my friends and family wondered what was wrong with me. I’m normally a Chatty Kathy, but in my interviews I was like a mushroom, barely uttering a word.

In my mind I was walking around with what I felt was like a time bomb on my chest as I participated in all of the crazy physical challenges.

So as the weight started coming off (and my medical monitoring was good because I was very CPAP compliant), I also got the added benefit of getting good sound sleep. It’s been shown this really helps your metabolism, and it sure did for me. Now look, I stayed on plan pretty much a 100% while I was on the show which is why I lost 181lbs., but I also know I also got a little extra help from my CPAP compliance. Hey I was such a model patient that I even did this little video, yes “sitting on a couch.” How ironic!

Funny, I had no idea how much this candid Ranch couch shot would mean to me one day.

Jay sleeping on a couch. The importance of sleep

So that little back story leads to today’s Weigh In Wednesday, which in addition to the “tale of my scale,” I share how I’ve come to learn how important it is to rest, relax and “recharge.”

In my video, I mentioned that I would share the web site of Kim and my good friend Dr. Heidi Hanna. Check it out!

Dr. Hanna may be familiar to all of you #couchkillers as she’s written the following articles for #couchkills

Train Your Brain To Think Differently

Stop Letting Yourself Get Burned Out

Monthly Massage, Invest In Yourself

Too Much Of A Good Thing

10 Simple Brain Exercises To Recharge Your Mind

And last but certainly not least, you can expect to start seeing a lot more articles about rest, relaxation, recharging and the importance of sleep, as I’ve become a Sleep Wellness Ambassador for the American Sleep Apnea Association. I’ve been elected to their Board of Directors, and I look forward to not only supporting people to #move more, #eat better and #inspire others to do the same, but to start betting #sleep habits.

On #couchkills you can start counting on us to provide the latest insights, tips and tools to help you get enough quality rest and sleep, so you have the energy and vitality to take on each day. That way, you can “live the rest of your life as the best of your life!”

Last modified: November 9, 2019

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