I don’t have very much in common with President Biden. He’s a career politician, a Democrat and someone who holds many political and philosophic ideas that I stridently disagree with. He’s also a man who has many, shall we say, “backward” ideas on how to live.
Perhaps the best example of these ideas was illustrated way back in 2008, in an article I wrote about my five-hour plane ride with then Senator Biden, “We All Scream for Ice Cream: A Joe Biden Tale.” If you haven’t yet read this article, let me give you the Cliff Notes version: He ate his meal in reverse order.
This behavior revealed what I concluded to be a type of reverse-thinking pathology of the sort that leads to bizarre and backward ideas, the latest of which being the proposals found in so-called “Bidenomics.” This is the economic playbook that consists of bigger and bigger government subsidies and spending, and more rules and regulations as a panacea for growing the economy from “the middle out and the bottom up — not the top down.”
Now, as a free-market advocate and a radical for laissez-faire capitalism, you likely know what I think about these ideas. So, the president and I certainly don’t share this key philosophic view.
So, what do I share with Joe Biden?
Last week, the White House confirmed that President Biden had recently begun using a CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea. The admission came largely in response to the visible indentations caused by the CPAP straps that were seen on both sides of the president’s face last Wednesday morning.
If you don’t know, a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine is a device that uses mild air pressure to keep breathing airways open while you sleep. It is the primary treatment option for sleep apnea, a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts, forcing a person to essentially wake up constantly during the night, therefore depriving him/her of entering the various necessary sleep stages. It’s also a condition that an estimated 30 million people in the United States have, a number that I suspect is way too low.
I say that, because last year, I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, a condition I suspect I had been suffering from for many years without even beware aware of it. And here, you see, is what I share with Joe Biden — we both have sleep apnea, and we both use a CPAP to help us deal with this subversive health condition.
Your editor wearing his “nasal pillow” CPAP machine.
Like the president, I experienced some facial indentations when I first began using my full-face CPAP. However, when I switched to what is called a “nasal pillow” device, the facial indentations disappeared.
Now, the reason I am writing about this medical condition I share with President Biden is because sleep apnea is a very serious problem that, left untreated, can result in a host of serious health complications. For example, multiple studies have shown an association between sleep apnea and problems such as type 2 diabetes, strokes, heart attacks and even a shortened lifespan.
I don’t know about you, but I love my life, and I want it to continue for many years to come. I also want that life to be as free of disease as possible, and as healthy as possible. And considering that more and more research has revealed that quality sleep is a critical component of optimal health, a kind of health superpower, if you will, it only makes sense to get the best quality sleep you can.
Finally, I want you to seriously consider this vital health issue, because you may suffer from sleep apnea and not even realize it. If you, or most likely your partner, notice that you snore heavily, or if you feel sluggish in the morning, have unexplained fatigue and mood swings or if you have dry mouth and/or headaches when you awaken, you may have sleep apnea.
To begin the process of treating this condition, I recommend seeing your doctor and having them refer you to a sleep specialist for an overnight sleep study. This is when you go to a sleep facility, where they place sensors on your head and body that monitor your sleep and calculate your “apnea events” during the night.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), sleep apnea and the number of apnea events are categorized into mild (five-15 events/hour), moderate (15-30 events/hour), and severe (>30 events/hour). When I did my sleep study, I was off the charts at 66 events per hour. That means more than once per minute I was waking up and gasping for breath!
Thankfully, this situation is now under control. In fact, my CPAP monitor actually tells me how many apnea events I experience per hour. Last night, it was 0.0 events. So, from 66 events to zero — that is what you call deep sleep progress.
So, if you have any suspicion at all that you may be suffering from sleep apnea, I strongly urge you to find out if you share what the president and I share — a condition you should by no means feel embarrassed by, one that can be treated by medical technology and one that can help you live a healthier life.
Ok, now call your doctor.
Be A Hero
“Man’s proper stature is not one of mediocrity, failure, frustration or defeat, but one of achievement, strength and nobility. In short, man can and ought to be a hero.”
— Mike Mentzer
It’s not often you read about a “Mr. Universe” doling out philosophic profundities and conceptions of man, the hero. But that’s what the great Mike Mentzer did with regularity in his various books, speeches and articles in many bodybuilding and fitness magazines in the 1970s and 1980s.
Mike was a genius, and one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. He is also a hero of mine, and a man who inspires me to this day with his insights into training, and the heroic nature of man. I met Mike in the mid-1990s at Gold’s Gym in Venice, California. It was our only meeting, but one that I shall always remember every time I reflect on the man and his work. Sadly, Mike died in 2001, but his innovative ideas on building muscle, and his concept of man as a heroic being, continue to be a profound influence on me and countless others who love their lives, and who aspire to be heroes.
Wisdom about money, investing and life can be found anywhere. If you have a good quote that you’d like me to share with your fellow readers, send it to me, along with any comments, questions and suggestions you have about my newsletters, seminars or anything else. Click here to ask Jim.
In the name of the best within us,