Some holidays are just plain ridiculous. Let’s take Sweetest Day for example, which is apparently celebrated on the third Saturday of October. You also have World Hello Day in November – you are supposed to say hello to ten complete strangers. Another is National Boss Day, which is often the day I like to call in sick to work. Well, there is one holiday that isn’t so ridiculous and that is Sleep Apnea Awareness Day. Sleep Apnea Awareness day is held on April 18th, which just so happens to be the date that Collin Sullivan – an Aussie from Down Unda’ – published the groundbreaking results to his study showing that CPAP treatment reverses the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. This was back in 1981, but his invention and revolutionary study has saved countless lives. So, what are you doing to celebrate? Here are five things you can do to celebrate Sleep Apnea Awareness Day.
1. Encourage Someone To Get Help
Indeed, Sleep Apnea Awareness Day is the perfect day to break the news to someone that they should seek treatment for their obstructive sleep apnea. If you are the partner of someone who you suspect has sleep apnea – maybe you’ve run out of socks to shove in their mouth to get them to stop snoring – you should find a gentler and more polite way to recommend getting diagnosed. If you don’t want to drag that person to a sleep lab, you could pick up the Easy Sleep Apnea Test Package. Sometimes getting tested for sleep apnea in the comfort of your own home is much more convenient and comfortable.
2. Bake a Cake for Dr. Sullivan
Hooray for Dr. Collin Sullivan! Because of this Australian doctor and some MacGyver-like thinking, millions of people today have an answer to their sleep apnea woes. It is also the reason why we honor him today on Sleep Apnea Awareness Day. In 1981, Dr. Sullivan published a paper in the British Medical Journal The Lancet entitled, “Reversal of Obstructive Sleep Apnea by Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Applied Through the Nares.” – The nares are your nose by the way. So, bake a cake for Dr. Sullivan – I suggest putting together a lamington cake, which is considered “the national cake of Australia.”
3. Pet an English Bulldog
While most people would rather stay as far away as possible from a slobbering, heavy-breathing bulldog, Dr. Collin Sullivan, inventor of CPAP, spent three years studying them. Why bulldogs? Well, because of their compacted respiratory apparatus – they are one of the only dogs that suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Before Dr. Sullivan tried his rudimentary CPAP prototype on humans, he was first testing the results on dogs. With a vacuum cleaner motor and a special mask fitted for the snout of a bulldog, he gave a few pups the first dose of continuous positive airway pressure. So, in celebration of Dr. Sullivan and those first few pioneering K9s – go out and find a bulldog to scratch behind the ear.
4. Take Control of Your Sleep Apnea and Your Life
If you have been suffering from sleep apnea for a while now and you just can’t nail down the whole CPAP treatment thing, Sleep Apnea Awareness Day is the perfect day to get serious about taking control of your obstructive sleep apnea and your life. For one, you may want to pick out the perfect mask – you can decide whether you are a full-face mask kind of person or a nasal or nasal pillows mask kind of a person. Whatever the case is, you want to find a mask that fits comfortably, so that you can receive many of the amazing CPAP benefits, like feeling more alert, revitalized and all around more well balanced. In addition to getting serious about CPAP and taking control of your sleep apnea, you may want to do a few push-ups, run around the block or start an exercise regime. You can jump on a path to a healthier you, and Sleep Apnea Awareness Day is the perfect time to give yourself that extra boost.
5. Take Your Partner Out On A Romantic Date
On Valentine’s day, you took your special someone out to the nicest restaurant in town, but on Sleep Apnea Awareness Day, you want to take it up a few notches. There is a good chance that your significant other – or whomever you may share your bed with – has experienced a fair share of your suffering from obstructive sleep apnea too. Just imagine all the nights of fitful, restless sleep and the unbearably loud snoring. Studies have shown that sleep apnea can affect a marriage in myriad ways, so you may want to take your wife or husband out to a nice meal or maybe a weekend getaway – as a way to say thanks for sticking around and for being tolerant of your debilitating sleep disorder.
In the end, there are a lot of ways that you can celebrate Sleep Apnea Awareness Day. April 18th isn’t so much a milestone commending Dr. Colin Sullivan and his groundbreaking invention of the CPAP machine, it is also a day to commend and praise all the people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. But instead of making it a pity party, take the day as an excuse to get serious about putting a lasso around your obstructive sleep apnea or giving a helping hand to someone that you know who may suffer from the disorder. When it comes down to it, there are a lot of stupid and pointless holidays – this isn’t one of them.