Stop Snoring – Naturally

A friend asked me the other day how to stop snoring “naturally” without any help from mouthguards or other items that a GP or Dentist might recommend them to use. My immediate and only answer to him was that ‘Naturally it’s very difficult’. I’m sure he understood fully what I meant.

Any Doctor or Dentist, if consulted about excessively loud snoring will adopt the very same viewpoints with their patients. It’s just like buying a property. There are only three things that are important. In this case it’s Lifestyle, Lifestyle, and Lifestyle.

It’s important to remember that we produce the sound of snoring due to the vibration of the skin in the throat or the mouth when air is forced through it during sleep; just like blowing a reed instrument really. The passage of air causes vibration that produces a sound – and usually a loud one – called a snore – and that is the problem that has to be resolved by tautening the loose tissue in these areas. That can take a long time.

The next questions of course are how did this happen to us and how do we fix it?

We’ll start by answering the ‘fix it’ part of the question because that will tell us a great deal about how it happened.  The main advice you will receive if you want to stop snoring “naturally” is something like the following very unpopular set of instructions.

Quit smoking, drink a lot less, particularly late at night, and lose weight. What pleasures will there be left for us all if we don’t do as we’re instructed. We will finish up either shattered through a serious lack of good sleep, or divorced – and sometimes both.

But of course it can be done. Take the natural route to stopping snoring and sign up now for Weightwatchers, Alcoholics Anonymous and enrol in ASH. What joy our lives will be.

To be serious however it’s important to work on our lifestyle for lots of very important reasons, and not just the reduction in the problem of snoring. But at the same time it’s a long hard road and a little help along the way will not hurt. The first thing your GP or Dentist will recommend is this more sensibly balanced approach to your health, but they will also probably recommend a little help while you’re waiting for the results of your very hard-earned new healthy image to kick in.

Most NHS Sleep Centres or Clinics will recommend that you try a mouth guard, or MAD, to give its correct title, a Mandibular Advancement Device. I suggest you stick with dental mouth guard or mouthpiece. It’s much harder to get the correct title out of your mouth than it is to put this simple item in there.

They’re easy to use, very low cost and have an excellent proven record of success for most snorers, which is why they are recommended. They’re safe, unlike surgery, and simple and pretty comfortable to use, unlike CPAP oxygen intake systems.

It’s really just like the Meerkat says in those TV commercials for insurance – Simple!

By John Redfern

Take a look at our YouTube video for more information!


Anti-snoring Mouthguards

There are numerous names for these devices that in many cases prevent loud snoring.

Amongst them are mouthguard, mouthpiece, jaw retainer, tongue repositioner or advancer, splint, or to give the correct medical term – a Mandibular Advancement Device or MAD. Put simply, it is a dental mouthpiece that will slightly adjust the position of the lower jaw to ensure that the sleeper has a clear airway; which of course restricts snoring.

Mouthguards are generally regarded as the most effective simple solution to the problem of snoring, which in some cases can be a serious danger to your health, particularly if you suffer from sleep apnea with its many possible and dangerous side effects.

The dental mouthguard is a simple, low-cost solution that is easily accessible for all, and as a consequence of this it is the first line of treatment that any NHS Sleep Clinic, General Practitioner or Dentist will recommend. At a cost of only £30 or so, or even £20 each if you buy the double pack version, it is easily attainable as a solution to snoring by everyone. The benefits by comparison are incredible. We all know how much a good night’s sleep is worth – and certainly our partners do.

The sleepPro Standard is a prime example of a high quality dental mouthguard. It is made in the UK by a British company and from specialist materials that cause it to adapt to the shape of your mouth for comfort and fit. For any person that snores, and here we are talking around 40% of the population, it’s a natural first step to take.

It’s a far more successful and better approach to the problem than the dubious array of non-recommended products such as acupuncture style snore rings, nasal breathing strips, chinstraps and the many other supposed anti-snoring devices that have proliferated across the last few years. And of course it’s less problematic than using overnight oxygen systems and masks, which many people can’t adjust to, and definitely safer than oral surgery, which, after all, is never without its dangers and should only ever be a last resort.

Of course, keeping your weight down, stopping smoking and not drinking alcohol to excess, along with regular exercise all contribute greatly to a healthy lifestyle and every GP will tell you that this is the route to take. And they are right.

However that won’t stop you snoring overnight – but a sleepPro mouthpiece can.

Start with the standard product, and when you find that it’s worked for you, upgrade to a Custom version that’s tailored to fit your mouth precisely and is a little lighter to wear. This is also perhaps the route to prefer if you have any dental alignment problems that may trouble you with a standard version.

Sleep tight.

By John Redfern


Snoring Treatments – the choices

Ahead of National Stop Snoring Week – which begins on 23 April 2012 perhaps it’s probably time to dispel some of the myths surrounding snoring and look at how to get to the bottom of a real problem which affects around 40% of the UK population at one time or another.

Firstly you should try out the basic ways to stop Snoring

It’s true that shedding some of that excess weight, ditching cigarettes and alcohol and reducing the consumption of spicy foods and dairy products can all lower the likelihood of a person snoring. Investing in a good pillow that is not too large, not too soft and getting rid of any second pillow may also help, as will trying to sleep on your side rather than on your back. However, just how far these simple diet and lifestyle changes will go will really depend on the seriousness of the problem, and without getting to the real root of the problem, you will never banish snoring for good.

You also need to rule out sleep apnoea.

Sleep apnoea is a disorder where people stop breathing periodically when they sleep; a condition that affects around three million people in Britain, with many more undiagnosed cases. In the most severe cases the sufferer can stop breathing 30 times or more in an hour, with each pause lasting several seconds or even a few minutes.

Research released this week revealed that people with snoring-related apnoea are more likely to develop deep vein thrombosis. While there is no known cure for sleep apnoea, it should always be brought to the attention of your GP as the condition can be managed and controlled. It might be as simple as wearing a simple mouthpiece to help your breathing at night. There is then the more complex treatment using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device that the NHS is able to provide. This latter method doesn’t suit everyone as they find it really dries the throat.

Dig a little deeper and take good advice

Making sure that you consult your GP if you have a problem with snoring is a good first step. The reason why snoring occurs varies and until you know and understand the ‘category’ of snorer that you are, any treatment you invest in may prove to be simply a waste of money.

They will advise you to try simple, cost-effective, and medically recommended routes first. They’re simple to obtain and inexpensive to try. A good mouthpiece, or mandibular splint such as the sleepPro Standard will only cost you around £30 – and that could be the end of the snoring problem – and for many people it is.

If you need more specialist advice, an ENT specialist will be able to tell you whether you fall into the nose, throat, palate or a ‘combination’ snoring category. You will then be in a better position to manage and treat the symptoms. Effective diagnosis will also stop you from investing money in the vast range of over-the-counter products that are probably quite inappropriate for your condition.

Keep it simple and stay with the proven and medically approved route. Take advice from your GP or Dentist and adjust your lifestyle. Try the type of mouthpiece recommended by the NHS. If all that fails then there are the more complex and expensive solutions of CPAP or Surgery.

By John Redfern

Take a look at our YouTube video for more info.


We live in a ‘Can’t Sleep Society’ – but there are solutions out there.

Why are so many people having trouble getting a good night’s sleep? Well perhaps you only have to count up the number of ways that contribute to this huge, ever-growing problem:

  • We are over-caffeinated (coffee, soft drinks, energy drinks, and snacks) and we are over-medicated (prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including all alcohol), and this is wreaking havoc with our regular slumber patterns.
  • We are over-wired (video games, Web browsing, social media, texting) and overstressed (money, work, relationships, overloaded schedules), all things that are making us too restless to doze off when we should.
  • We are overworked (longer hours, night shifts that are incompatible with our biological clocks) and overweight (perhaps this is a chicken-or-egg situation as studies have found that one leads very much to the other).

On top of all this so many people seem to have such intense social pressures in their lives.

We seem recently to have raised sleep deprivation almost to the level of a badge of honour. Late nights, early mornings – we’ve got to the stage where we’re actually boasting about it.

The effects of all this however might outnumber the causes, and they are hardly as benign as many of us might think them to be. It has been clearly proved that any degree of sleep deprivation will seriously impair our performance levels – whether it’s behind the wheel of a vehicle, in the classroom or in the workplace. A leading Sleep Scientist stated only this week that the major incidents such as the Bhopal Disaster, Challenger, Exxon Valdez and Three Mile Island  “are all officially attributed to problems from sleep deprivation. But the biggest risk of sleep deprivation by far is car crashes.”

On the basis of this, there’s no real wonder that we are seeing such a dramatic growth in both private and state-run sleep centres and clinics, not just here in the UK, but everywhere.

We need to remember that most normal adults need to have from seven to nine hours of sleep every single night to function properly and most of the insomnia victims amongst us have trouble falling or staying asleep even in a setting which has adequate conditions for sleep. This sleep deprivation is mostly caused by behavioral or situational factors that curtail the ability to get enough sleep time for us.

Remember this simple fact.

Anyone who uses an alarm clock is by definition sleep-deprived because if the brain had got the amount of sleep it wanted, you would have woken up before the alarm went off.

Some of the worrying effects of lack of sleep on our health

  • With sleep deprivation, some glucose metabolism problems can lead on to diabetes, and if it does, a consequence of this could sometimes be heart disease and stroke.
  • With insomnia, there is no evidence of long-term physical problems or links to other diseases. But insomnia results in a much poorer quality of life and regular work absences and it can lead to depression.
  • With sleep apnea there is evidence emerging that it can also lead to hypertension, heart problems and a higher risk of strokes.

What are the solutions?

Good sleep ‘hygiene’ can improve or even resolve insomnia. Avoid late eating and drinking, keep the bedroom cool and dark and try to ‘chill out’ before bedtime. You’re setting the scene for a better night’s sleep with all the right conditions.

Sensible naps at the right time can help – particularly ‘power naps’ of 30 minutes or less, when you’re finding that you just can’t stay awake, or even when you’re heading out for one of those late-night events. Many business executives take a power nap at lunchtime.

Make sure to see your doctor if you’ve had difficulty in falling and staying asleep and this problem lasts for more than a week. Or if you snore, causing you to wake up frequently and then feel sleepy during the day, cut out or reduce the snoring problem by using a medically recommended mouthpiece, such as sleepPro, that will help your breathing when you sleep and contribute to a great night’s sleep.

Finally anyone with the more serious sleep apnea symptoms should seek some medical advice as soon as possible. Talk to your GP who’ll be glad to advise you about the problem.

By John Redfern

Take a look at our YouTube video for more info.


How to Prevent Snoring

Whilst reading a few articles and comments on the internet the other day I started to notice that there are so many different ways recommended to prevent snoring that the average sufferer, and that’s about 40% of us, must be pretty confused.

One or two of the recommendations, such as not eating dairy products before bedtime and giving up chocolate, cake, and pizza, left me utterly baffled, so I don’t think I’ll try those! However, there
was one particular lady who said she had found the perfect cure for loud snoring and those awful incessant sleepless nights – she divorced her husband. Well, it does happen a lot you know.

The main routes to prevent snoring however are very clearly established by the medical and dental professionals who are experts in this matter; the NHS even has Sleep Centres because this really has become such a big problem today – even for small children now.

There are sometimes of course some well-known underlying causes and it’s on that area that your GP will focus; if you’re overweight, drink a little too much alcohol, don’t exercise enough, or you smoke, then that will be the obvious starting point as these can all be major contributing factors.

To prevent snoring it must be pretty obvious to all of us that healthy living is important – and not just to prevent snoring. If the problem of snoring persists, and there are numerous anatomical reasons for this that are connected with our airways being clear, then our GP’s and Dentists have a very short list of recommendations.

A simple cost-effective method such as a dental mouthpiece is always top of their list. It’s easy to obtain, costs very little, and is without risk. This makes it the very first thing to try in order to help prevent snoring. After all, the other options involve more complex routes, and even risk. The next stage would then be CPAP that involves a nightly oxygen supply via mask or tube, and then, last of all, some form of surgery – and that is very much the last resort.

I went as far as jotting down a list of these so-called recommendations and thought it made such interesting reading that I’ve listed them below in groups for you to see. I’ll leave you to form your own conclusions but there’s only one sensible way forward that I can see that will bring results.

———————————————————————

Medically Recommended

Mandibular advancement device / mouthpiece (sleepPro)

CPAP

Surgery

Lifestyle Group

Exercise and lose weight

Drink less alcohol

Stop smoking

Sleep Posture Products

Use higher pillows

Use two pillows

Sleep on your side

Food and drink based ideas

Stay away from calorie-rich food

Don’t eat Chocolate, Cake of Pizza

Don’t eat Fairy products before bedtime

Don’t eat Ice Cream or drink Milk

Herbal Infusions

Home remedires and all the rest of the ideas people suggest that may help you stop snoring.

Train to breathe through your nose

Do throat exercises

Blow your nose and spray salt solution

Fasten a tennis ball in the back of your pyjamas to stop you sleeing on your back

Do not take medication at night

Products on general sale

Nasal strips

Rings

Chinstraps

Oral strips

Throat sprays

Nose clips

Nasal pins

Sinus rinse

Snore alarms

Magnetic Therapy

Use a humidifier in the bedroom

Mouthpiece
Drink less Alcohol                CPAP
Stop Smoking                    Surgery

By John Redfern