Snoring Linked to Cancer!

Snoring can raise Cancer risk five-fold • Daily Telegraph 20 May 2012

I’ve never been an alarmist but when I saw this headline by the Medical Correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, and then saw it once more, as a lead page on NHS Choices, who used the line:

Snorers ‘have higher cancer risk’ • NHS Choices 21 May 2012

I was concerned enough to investigate these claims more thoroughly and find their origin. The results were frankly, astonishing to read. Because it’s so important I want to include a lot of the detail as I think you’d like to read it.

What did the research involve?

Researchers looked at data collected from a Sleep study that featured 1,522 adults. Their sleep was thoroughly monitored in a sleep laboratory, and then followed up for 22 years. The researchers looked at whether those with sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), or in simple everyday language, Snoring, were more likely to die from cancer than those without.

The researchers categorised people as having normal sleep breathing, mild SDB, moderate SDB or severe SDB based on their score on a standard scale called the “apnoea-hypopnea index” (AHI). This score is calculated based on the average number of times per hour of sleep that a person’s nasal and oral airflow stopped for 10 seconds or more (apnoea), or how many times they have a detectable reduction in breathing and blood oxygen levels (hypopnea). Participants who reported using a device to treat apnoea (a “continuous positive airway pressure” (CPAP) machine) were considered to have severe SDB. This machine blows air into a sleeper’s airways through a special mask, preserving the flow of air into the lungs.

The researchers also asked people about severe daytime sleepiness, their alcohol consumption, smoking habits, general health, physical activity and recorded whether they had been diagnosed by a GP as having diabetes or sleep apnoea.

Each participant’s body mass index (BMI) was calculated at the start of the study.

Any deaths were identified from national and regional records. The researchers then analysed whether deaths from cancer were more common among those with SDB than those without the condition and they took into account factors such as age, gender, BMI and smoking, all of which could affect cancer risk.

I have kept the records of the results and they are available to you if required.

How did the researchers interpret the results?

They concluded that their findings suggested that Snoring or “sleep-disordered breathing” is associated with higher levels of cancer death and said that as this is the first study to report such an association, more studies are needed to confirm it. This is a worrying story evolving over 22 years. So how long do we have to wait for absolute proof? Is there time for you or I to wait for this further study? I think not.

Conclusion • Quoted from the Report

This study has suggested that there may be an association between severe sleep-disordered breathing and cancer mortality. However, there are the following limitations to consider:

  • The number of people with severe sleep-disordered breathing in this study was small, as was the number of deaths from cancer. These small numbers mean that the results of the study may not be very reliable, as they are more susceptible to being influenced by chance. Larger studies will therefore be needed to confirm these findings.
  • Sleep was only monitored once, at the start of the study, and may not be representative of a person’s long-term sleep breathing.
  • The researchers took into account various factors that could be linked to both sleep-disordered breathing and cancer, such as obesity. However, even with adjustments these and other factors may still have affected the results. For example, the average BMI among the 39 people with severe sleep-disordered breathing was high, at 38.6 kg/m2 (a BMI of 30kg/m2 or above is considered obese, and a BMI of over 40kg/m2 morbidly obese).
  • The study did not look at the risk of getting cancer; it only looked at risk of death from cancer.

Obviously these findings are of serious interest and even concern to all of us and also to Doctors, Clinics and Hospitals. Major Studies like this are not published on NHS Choices without them being important. However more evidence will definitely need to be gathered before a definite conclusion emerges. In the meantime we simply ask: Is there a possible link between Snoring and death from Cancer.

What was most significant to me however was that the link between Snoring and Cancer held true even after all their lifestyle adjustments for things such as smoking, alcohol, diet and weight.

And alarmingly, the link was stronger for those of a healthy weight than the obese. Snoring can be a simple thing to resolve with something as simple as a SleepPro mouthpiece so I ask myself “Why take this risk?”

By John Redfern

Sleep School 2012 announces new training to diagnose sleep disorders.

Did you know that snoring is the No. 1 symptom for people who suffer from a potentially deadly disease called Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

In fact, it has been ascertained by doctors that snoring can also lead to daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, high blood pressure, and many more life altering, and occasionally threatening issues.

In fact, there are more than 80 sleeping disorders in total with varied degrees of influence on the physical, psychological and social well-being of those who are the sufferers. This has raised the medical prominence of the subject to new levels as it is now realised that this has a serious cost effect on our National Health Service.

Basically, attack the main causes of the snoring problem and eliminate large numbers of these dangerous disorders that cost hospitals a lot of money and more importantly, can endanger our lives.

Sleep Clinic for Children & Adults Chief Executive, Dr Pamela Hamilton-Stubbs, said that sleeping disorders range from basic snoring to severe sleep apnoea.

“Sleep apnoea worldwide is mostly undiagnosed and affects millions in developed and non-developed countries,” said the expert.

Dr Hamilton-Stubbs added that sleep problems are now increasingly recognised as an important manifestation of different diseases. Impaired sleep quality and short sleep duration might be associated with a serious decline in overall health and could also cause mortality, stating that social and demographic influences are critical for sleep attainment.

With regard to the a new course that is available for medical professionals in Occupation Sleep Medicine, that has been developed in collaboration with Philips Respironics, she said that it is a very new field within sleep medicine and is closely linked to the science of sleep. The clinical practice of Sleep Medicine would play a crucial role in fatigue risk management. In short term, it improves performance, productivity and safety, while in the longer term, it improves workers’ health and well-being.

It is often stated that many sleep disorders cause an increase in daytime sleepiness and also an increase in road traffic accidents. “It is associated with many systemic disorders like hypertension.”

“The new course focuses on the needs of the physicians and technicians who want to develop specialist skill in sleep medicine practice.”

The course will raise awareness among the participants about sleep disorders, help them in understanding and diagnosing the problem in general, and the hands-on training will help them in building their skill.

By John Redfern

Take a look at our Video for more info.

Can Sleep Apnoea be treated by using a Mouthpiece

Sleep Scientists and Doctors in America say a BIG YES!

More than 18 million American adults have obstructive Sleep apnea (OSA), according to the National Sleep Foundation. This means that during sleep, the tongue and soft tissues of the mouth relax and fall back into the throat, partially obstructing the airway. People with OSA can actually stop breathing for as much as 10 to 30 seconds, and do this hundreds of times a night. The extra effort that it takes to breathe causes repeated, brief awakenings throughout the night. Although these events are usually unnoticed by those with OSA, their bedmates will realise that something is very wrong, as they lie awake listening to their partners’ very loud snoring.

It has been well documented in numerous studies in the US and the UK that people with OSA have fragmented sleep and that the disorder, if left untreated, can cause excessive daytime sleepiness, an impaired quality of life, and an increased risk of motor vehicle and occupational accidents. It can even cause hypertension, or high blood pressure. A statement from the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), explains, “Every time the airway shuts down, the body pumps adrenaline and this raises the blood pressure. Half of the people with sleep apnea have hypertension – sometimes at dangerous levels.”

Another panel of experts, writing in the journal Critical Reviews in Oral Biology & Medicine, analysed 16 different studies of treatments for OSA.

They noted that for persons with severe OSA, the most effective treatment is continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP. This therapy works on a pneumatic principle: Wearing a mask during sleep, the patient breathes in moist, pressurized air, which forces the airway to remain open. Although CPAP helps a majority of users, figures show that 50 per cent of patients give up on the treatment due to the side effects. These can include nasal congestion, sneezing, dry throat and other problems, according to the panelists, who went on to say that for people with mild to moderate OSA, there is an effective alternative treatment in the form of an oral appliance that is worn during sleep.

This appliance goes by several names: the mandibular advancing device (MAD) or mandibular repositioning appliance (MRA). It is often referred to as a Splint. It looks very much like a sports mouth guard and it works by slightly adjusting the position of the lower jaw (mandible), the tongue and other soft structures in the mouth and throat, thereby keeping the airway open.

It was reported by the panel that in most patients, MAD therapy decreased snoring and daytime sleepiness, and it improved work performance and sleep quality of both patient and partner.

There are a number of versions of these oral appliances. To discover how well they work Sleep Apnea sufferers are advised to try a basic product initially; one such as the sleepPro Standard. Low-cost, efficient, and simple to fit they are very readily available and can be ordered online for delivery to the home.

If successful, as they often are for mild and medium sufferers, then it is possible to upgrade to a custom-fit version, available from the same UK company. Alternatively, at greater cost, the same type of product can be custom-fitted by a dental professional.

However it is important that people with severe OSA should talk to their doctors about CPAP as their first treatment.

By John Redfern

The Snoring Chinstrap

The Snoring chinstrap is so often reminiscent of dressing for a game of Rugby and although I’ve not done that for a while I remember it well. I was a Front Row Forward in those days – being amply built – and there were some giant guys around me. We wore them of course for different reasons – but I guess a similar basic principle. They kept our jaws locked very tight and made sure we retained most of our ears for the end of the game – a bit like the modern snorer in the family bedroom.

I know that for snorers, and their partners, that the bedroom can easily turn into a mighty contest of willpower, friction and dispute, and sometimes even a war zone, but surely this is a bridge too far. The look of a Chinstrap will end any possible prospect of passion I’m sure. There’s one thing guaranteed and that is it won’t make you look like George Clooney – or anyone else half as attractive to our dear partners.

But will it stop you snoring? Will it stop you getting your ears ripped off by your partner?

Let’s face it. It is really annoying when your spouse starts snoring and wakes you up in the middle of the night. When your spouse snores, you try simply everything just to stop it – like closing his or her mouth, or pinching his or her nose. Unfortunately, these do not work or if they do work, it is only for a very short time. I honestly believe it’s the same with the chinstrap – very short and very sweet – and it most certainly does nothing for your kerb appeal.

Snoring is a medical problem – and there are NHS recommended solutions for all to try. The solutions are based on keeping the airway in the throat clear so that there’s less chance of having to force the air through a narrow gap and so cause the vibration that results in what we know as snoring.

So what confuses me most is why anyone should therefore use something that clamps the jaw shut tight, and must surely restrict the passage of air. It seems a little like putting the plug in the sink with the tap turned on – and leaving it on – very soon we’ll have an overflow and a bigger problem.

Of course in the Urban Dictionary the word chinstrap is often recorded and is the name for a strip of facial hair or thin beard that runs from ear to ear – around the chin- just like the same on a soldier’s ceremonial headwear. A certain similarity of appearance, without a doubt, exists.

So reviews for this device have found to be disappointing overall – with maybe a short term benefit – but what a ‘passion killer’ it is. Methinks the ladies may prefer the snoring – when banished to another room anyway.

Nevertheless always make sure to raise your snoring problems with your doctor. Keep him informed and either he or your dentist will point you in the right direction for medically approved solutions such as CPAP, surgery or a mouthpiece designed for your jaw. Mouthpiece – more Rugby artefacts you say – but hidden from view and gone – just like the snoring. Some top results may then return for your family teamwork – including blissful sleep, sound rest, and friction-free relationships.

Take A Look at this YouTube video for more info!

By John Redfern

The Sound of Snoring

I’m sorry to say that the answer is no…it’s not a new West End Musical. It’s that age-old problem of excessively loud snoring and the knock-on effects.

What do you do if you find yourself sharing a bed or even just a room with someone who snores? Or are you the one with the problem? This could be your regular adult home relationship, a trip away with friends or family, a business trip, or even, in the case of youngsters, shared accommodation through further education or simply a school trip. There are no upper or lower age barriers to making loud snoring sounds that disturb the others.

A study showed that partners of millions of snorers are kept awake for two hours each night, which equates to two years’ lost sleep over the course of an average marriage. If you have to deal with someone’s snoring every night, encourage him or her at least to take some steps to stop or reduce it.

Snoring sound levels can hit such a pitch that no one else in the house sleeps well. If that happens night after night, tempers can fray, and it will have a serious effect on your day – affecting everything that you do. We all know it’s the cause of thousands of failed marriages, ranking third on the list after only ‘playing away’ and financial stresses. It’s a serious area.

Our regular site contributors have often written to tell us of the panic station situations that they experienced before sleepPro brought bliss back to their various relationships.

They had tried everything to no avail and here are a few of the more imaginative, if unsuccessful, examples of what they tried.

  • Roll them onto their side – without them falling out of bed
  • Fast a hard object up the pack of their pyjama jacket to stop them lying on their back at any time
  • Create some home-made earplugs from the foamy type of material that is used in cigarette tips
  • Listen to music with the earphones from your-Pod or similar
  • Place a fan next to the bed but don’t catch cold or get a stiff neck
  • Build a tent over them to help soundproof the loud snoring sounds

The list of more drastic measures included moving to a different room, asking your partner to enroll for Sleep Therapy, or both of you attending Marriage Counselling Classes. Finally, dangerously, taking an excess of Non-prescription drugs.

The situation can be pretty serious on the whole as you can imagine but nothing to actually stop you snoring for long, if at all.

The only real solution to the sound of loud snoring is to follow good medical advice and attack the cause and not the symptom. A sleepPro mouthpiece will help you to do this and be assured because the National Health Service and Doctors and Dentists recommend them everywhere.

Nevertheless always make sure to raise your snoring problems with your doctor. Keep him informed.

By John Redfern

Take a look at our YouTube video for more info!

The Bedroom Wars

Not a book review I’m afraid but I think it would make a great title for a Hollywood Rom-Com. And what a story it would be. Maybe you’re in the trenches for this one because it certainly seems to be a bigger, and sometimes more amusing, and widespread scenario than we realize.

Would our blockbuster film be Pretty Woman, Knocked Up, or When Harry met Sally in its style. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, What Women Want, or especially While you were Sleeping leap out as the most appropriate titles for this movie, but sadly, they’ve already been used by this popular genre.

As part of Stop Snoring Week researchers have shed light on a whole host of annoyances that British couples face when they’re between the sheets, with nabbing the duvet emerging as the biggest bone of contention by far.

According to this month-old survey, an average couple bicker in the bedroom 167 times a year. One in ten couples claim to have an argument over the nightly affliction at least twice a week – with well over half of the respondents blaming men as the worst culprits for snoring.

However 39 per cent said both sexes were as bad as each other, according to the poll that was conducted on behalf of hotel chain Premier Inn to coincide with National Snoring Week.

Besides yanking the duvet from each other during the night, the second reason for a night-time squabble is the age-old of problem of snoring. Not quite so easy to resolve as changing the double duvet to a King Size.

Other major bedroom disputes include whingeing about being too hot, allowing the kids to sleep in the bed and not being ‘in the mood’.

“Our research shows most of the arguments that British couples have in the bedroom are down to habits that are very easy to resolve as a relationship develops,” states Claire Haigh, of Premier Inn. She then goes on to say:

“We conducted this research to coincide with National Stop Snoring Week and the findings discovered that a lot of people are seriously affected by snoring and hogging the duvet.

“People suffer from snoring to varying degrees and the research shows how something like snoring can impact on our day to day lives especially if one person in the relationship is missing out on much needed sleep.”

The poll also revealed that the average individual in a relationship is disturbed nearly twice a week by their partners snoring, but one night a week they even wake themselves up with their own heavy breathing.

The survey took into consideration 2,000 people all of whom are in a relationship. Of those exactly half said that their partner snored.

Other issues that lead to disagreements in the boudoir include allowing children to sleep in the marital bed and venturing on to the wrong side.
Being touched by freezing cold feet is also likely to cause tension because of the bedroom being too chilly. The time at which couples go to bed, leaving lights on just for one of them to read and leaving drinks on the bedside table were also likely to trigger the problem.

What a film plot it could be; Bridget Jones beware. In fact what a great sequel this could be for the married Bridget and ‘Mr D’Arcy”, a piece of typecasting that Colin Firth will never lose for years, and may not wish to.

I can see it now as Bridget and the Bedroom Wars – a Box Office sensation.

At the end of the day though, the conclusions of the research are simple.

All these are things that can be so easily resolved with a little more care, thought and consideration. The snoring too is hardly a problem with the ready availability today of simple to use, NHS recommended mouthpieces, such as SleepPro offer for a few pounds. What a wise investment this would prove to be for anyone caring about their health and relationship, – and it’s so much cheaper than divorce.

Look out for the sequel – Snore and Peace – with its long years of romantic bliss and contentment.

By John Redfern

Earplugs for relief from Snoring

‘Relief from snoring by using earplugs’ is an advertising headline that I see regularly on various shopping sites around the internet and the statement always triggers a number questions for me:

First, which of the two persons sharing the bedroom gets the relief?

Second, is this an interim measure or a last resort?

Third, will you still hear the fire or smoke alarm or your alarm call?

Last, and most important, why not eliminate the problem instead?

I can understand perfectly well how difficult it is to have marital harmony, let alone a good night’s sleep, if you’re the partner of someone who snores very loudly. Snoring is, after all, one of the biggest causes of divorce, which may sound incredible but is absolutely true; it ranks third only after Infidelity and financial problems as the primary cause. So Beware!

I read recently that couples fight in the bedroom an average of 167 times a year – mostly for the covers I may add – but 10% of couples claim to fight about snoring at least twice a week, with men of course being the main culprits. So maybe, earplugs will soon rank alongside beautiful lingerie as must have and fashionable attire for the boudoir – but I think not.

I always wonder if snorers who are single, and not married or with a partner, ever use earplugs? And if so, why bother? It reminds me a little bit of that old psychology test question “If a tree falls in the forest and no-one is around to hear it, does it make a sound.” Some say the answer is that nobody knows. Others say that it could be either Yes or No. However in this case the answer is definitely:  “Yes of course there is – just ask the neighbours.”

I was amused to hear a story from a friend who went away last year on a European Camping holiday in France with his family, and he told me that they were issued a few sets of foam earplugs free of charge as part of their Reception Welcome Pack. That’s certainly a first! At home he works at a Factory where there is constant noise of machinery and he said that he wished he’d taken his Ear Defenders with him. For those who don’t know about Ear Defenders they’re like stereo earphones and available in all the DIY and Power Tool shops. Health and Safety insist upon them. You may have seen the tractor drivers wearing them. Apparently my friend’s children used the headsets from their ipods. What a fun place for a holiday!

Fun apart, at the end of the day, the only real relief from Snoring in this type of situation will come if you attack the problem and treat it – and not just try to cover it up or pretend it’s not happening. Snoring is a harmful habit that can ruin not only the sleep of others but also your own. It significantly affects the snorer’s energy levels and that of your distressed partner too.

Many people snore because their breathing is impaired because of weak throat tissues and jaw constrictions and the best answer is a mouthpiece that adjusts the position of the jaw and opens the airway. The result is no more snoring and it’s immediate. A dental mouthpiece or MAD (Mandibular Adjustment Device) – what a smart marketing term – is easy to obtain, simple to use, inexpensive and recommended by the NHS and Dentists.

It’s not Rocket Science – but it is just what the Doctor ordered.

By John Redfern

Take a look at our YouTube video for more info!