Adam Amdur Talks to the Upper School About Sleep

Can’t keep your eyes open in class? You could have some sleep trouble during the night that is affecting you during the school day.

Wednesday,during club period, Adam Amdur, an ODA parent who has struggled with  sleep apnea all his life, came to talk to upper school students. During his high school years, he was not yet diagnosed with sleep apnea, but he surely felt the effects of sleep deprivation.

Amdur often felt tired during the school day and couldn’t focus on his academic subjects. After school, during football practice, he could barely get off the bench. Not only did he feel groggy all day, but his immune system couldn’t fight off sicknesses such as the common cold.

At night, when he went to sleep, he would have trouble breathing. This labored breathing prevented him from entering the rapid eye movement, REM, stage of sleep, so he never had dreams during the night. When he awoke, he was exhausted  because his body was working so hard to keep his breathing regular.

One day, he was so exhausted that he crashed his car. The last thing he remembers is looking at his friend then his eyesight  just “going black.”  He realized then that something was wrong. His family took him to many doctors, but initially no one identified a possible sleep disorder. Eventually, he was diagnosed with sleep apnea. The disease had slowed down his life.

Now, years later, he has become something of a specialist on sleep apnea. He said that he has accomplished more in the past year than he has in fifteen years.  With treatment, sleep apnea can be handled and controlled. Students who aren’t suffering from sleep apnea, may still be suffering from a lack of sleep and the same symptoms of fatigue. High school students can be so engrossed in their courses that they stay up studying too late into the night.

How do we combat this problem? Here are a few tips that Amdur offered  for getting a good night’s sleep:

1. If its getting late, like around 10 o’ clock, and you still have more studying to do, GO TO SLEEP, and study in the morning. You won’t be able to focus and process the information that late at night, and your brain won’t be able to remember the details for the test/quiz the next day.

2. If you can, go to bed around the same time each night. You want to keep your biological clock in tune. If you do this, you will be getting around the same amount of hours each night, and hopefully feel better once doing this.

3. Shut OFF all electronics. Light from the screen will stimulate your brain, and it will take longer for you to fall asleep.

Want to do well in school? Instead of studying and cramming last minute schoolwork, just go to bed. You will be more successful. Ten years from now, the  sleep you got in high school, or didn’t get, could determine your success!