The Top Ten Problems linked to Snoring

Current research studies around the world emphatically link heavy snoring and sleep apnoea to a very long list of dangers to your personal health, as well as numerous other significant problems that can be caused for you both at work or at home.

Most people ignore snoring and it remains dangerously undiagnosed and untreated. If you snore, think about taking some steps to resolve it – it’s fast, inexpensive, and easy to do so.

1. High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is significantly more likely to develop within patients suffering from sleep apnoea. Blood oxygen levels are lowered significantly during sleep apnoea periods and that creates an excess strain on the blood pressure and heart as it attempts to provide the oxygen required. The worse the sleep apnoea, the more likely someone is to develop hypertension.

2. Strokes and Heart attacks

The development of high blood pressure also increases the likelihood of developing further heart problems like strokes and heart attacks. It can even lead to sudden death from cardiovascular failure. The blood oxygen levels are lowered significantly during sleep apnoea periods. Sleep apnoea can also lead to other heart problems including abnormal heart rhythms like atrial fibrillation.

3. Cancer

Snorers who sleep more than nine hours a night are twice as likely to develop bowel cancer than snorers who get seven hours of sleep a night, according to new research. The study showed a significant link between long periods of sleep and the development of colorectal cancer, especially among people who are overweight or who snore. This is because people with sleep apnoea snore heavily and tend to sleep for longer, because their sleep is disrupted making them more tired.

4. Diabetes

It has been established for a number of years that very heavy snorers or those with sleep apnoea are nine times more likely to have diabetes than those who do not have the disorder. Treating the snoring and problem of lack of good sleep on a regular basis can often reduce blood glucose levels, which would obviously have clear benefits for those with diabetes.

5. Alzheimer’s disease

Sleep apnea, which robs sufferers of deep sleep by endlessly and subconsciously waking them up, becomes more common as people age. Now, a small new study raises the possibility that it may somehow cause — or be caused by — Alzheimer’s disease. The research is preliminary, and it’s possible that there may be no connection between the two conditions. Still, scientists found that seniors with signs of disrupted breathing during sleep were much more likely to have the key indicators of developing Alzheimer’s disease and underlining a link between sleep, aging and memory.

6. Chronic Headaches

A study reveals that people who have chronic daily headache are also likely to be chronic snorers. Chronic daily headache is defined as having at least 15 headaches a month (not necessarily every day), and is a distressing and disabling condition, which can be hard to treat. Researchers at the National Institute on Ageing, believe they have new insight into this condition. It’s not clear whether headaches cause snoring, or whether snoring leads to headache. If the latter turns out to be the case, then curing the snoring – which is perfectly feasible – might also cure the headache.

7. Tiredness, Irritability & Behavioural Problems

People who snore heavily and suffer from disturbed sleep patterns may experience tiredness throughout their whole day and that can lead to emotional issues like irritability. It can lead to focus problems too. Some people might even fall asleep while working – or even driving. Children who suffer may also have poor performance in school. Their typical development may be strained and it can also lead to major behavioural problems.

8. Dangerous Situations

When a person doesn’t get the correct amount of sleep at night their body will insist upon receiving sleep at some point. Excessive daytime sleepiness can lead to falling sleep while driving or operating machinery. People that are suffering from obstructive sleep apnoea, that is left severe and untreated, are 15 times more likely to get into a car crash. Until you are treated for your heavy snoring you need to be sure that it’s safe.#

9. Relationship issues

Loud snoring can disturb more than just the sleep of your partner. It is well known that relationship problems can occur and that loud snoring causes couples to often sleep apart. It is also the third highest cause of divorce. It can also cause irritability and mood swings – both at home and in your work relationships with your colleagues.

10. Asthma

Asthma, especially childhood asthma, may lead to sleep apnoea later on in life and is more common among asthmatics. However whether asthma promotes development of OSA remains unknown, according to recent studies. Some studies have suggested that people with asthma could be at an increased risk for sleep apnoea and that heavy snoring worsens asthma. For each 5-year increment in duration of asthma, research showed that the likelihood of a person developing OSA shows an increase of 12%.

By John Redfern


Important things that you may not know about Snoring

A long day spent at work or home with the kids can leave you desperately longing for a good night’s rest. For chronic snorers and their bedfellows, though, falling and staying asleep isn’t so simple. In fact, what could seem like a harmless annoyance can have surprising consequences that extend beyond bedtime. Luckily, sleep experts like SleepPro know what causes snoring and how to put an end to it.

Read on for the key facts on the connection of snoring to our everyday life – and how to get rid of it from yours.

1. It can complicate a couple’s relationship

That recent argument with your spouse could be a result of sleep deprivation from his or perhaps your snoring. The National Sleep Foundation found that more than one-third of respondents felt their partner’s sleep disorder caused relationship problems. “Severe snoring markedly disturbs the partner’s sleep, causing irritability, anger and depression.”

Talk to the guy keeping you awake at night. Calmly express concern not just for your wellbeing but also his. And if you’re the culprit, don’t write off your loved one’s worries.

2. It may signal other health problems

Do you or your hubby make loud gasping sounds while you sleep? It could be sleep apnoea, a disorder in which breathing stops and starts repeatedly at night, which is connected to heart disease, hypertension and diabetes, especially when undiagnosed. Even without sleep apnoea, a snorer could have an elevated stroke risk, according to new research from the USA.

If you snore and experience daytime sleepiness and memory problems make sure that you see a doctor.

3. Being overweight has been tied to increased snoring

As you gain weight, the muscles inside your neck get thicker, narrowing the airway, As the airway closes, the tissues become more likely to vibrate against one another, causing that dreaded sound.

Shedding 10% of your body weight could drastically improve the situation, and losing just 10 pounds can really help you.

4. What you consume before bed can make snoring worse

Head home from happy hour at least four hours before you hit the hay. Alcohol relaxes the central nervous system, forcing our bodies to work harder to breathe during sleep. When all the tissue and muscle around a throat relaxes, there’s a greater chance for airway collapse.

More things to avoid at bedtime: sleeping pills and other medications that are known to cause muscle relaxation – and either heavy or very spicy meals, particularly if you have acid reflux, since they can flare up irritating fluid in the throat.

5. Your allergies may be a trigger

Breathing in allergens, like pollen and pet dander, sets off swelling in your nose and throat tissues. As the tissues come under increased contact, the airway is likely to close, especially at bedtime. Our body’s ability to compensate for allergens while we’re sleeping is not the same as when we’re awake.

Thankfully, clearing up allergies is easy, from using a prescribed steroid nasal spray to non-sedating antihistamines to allergy shots.

6. Smoking can make matters worse

Yet another reason to kick butt: a study found that past and current smokers are more likely to snore regularly than non-smokers. Cigarette smoke is a hot irritant, which causes swelling of the soft tissues. Because smokers are prone to a raised level of throat inflammation and dryness, their chances are higher for tissue vibration and eventual airway collapse at night.

It’s smart to avoid smoking before bed, but it’s best to quit altogether.

7. Simple sleep tricks could make a difference

Try sleeping on your side or instead raising the head of your bed by from four to eight inches. This can counteract gravity, which causes the tongue and other tissues to fall backward and block your airway when you lie flat on your back.

Roll up several tea towels and place them in the middle of your back to keep you off it – comfortably – unlike the tennis ball technique.

8. Over-the-counter products aren’t that effective

After testing popular store-bought snoring aids, including an oral spray, nasal strips and head-positioning pillows, a study from Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery found that none significantly reduce snoring’s frequency or volume. That’s because snoring causes differ from person to person.

Ask your GP or Dentist for advice and make sure that you get help from a professional company. Look for NHS endorsed products.

9. There’s a comfortable alternative to cumbersome sleep masks

New compact oral appliances are worthy adversaries to the bulky, airblowing Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) masks, which are the traditional treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea. Instead of uncomfortable and claustrophobic air pressure masks, high quality oral appliances thrust the bottom jaw forward to prevent airway blockage during sleep, just like CPR. These devices are more portable and comfortable, making patients more likely to stick with them.

Although snoring will end quickly with a mouthpiece, severe apnoea patients should continue to track their other symptoms.

By John Redfern


SleepPro supports the British Lung Foundation

SleepPro supports the British Lung Foundation

The British Lung Foundation has launched a new online action that enables people to email their local parliamentarian, urging them to take action in parliaments and governments across the UK to draw attention to the problems presented by heavy snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea.

Most people will snore at one time or another but the incidence of heavy snoring is increasing rapidly, mostly due to lifestyle factors, and snoring is now thought to regularly affect the lives of 40% of men in the UK, and 25% of women, which if correct, adds up to almost 20 million people.

In addition, up to 4 per cent of middle-aged men and 2 per cent of middle-aged women in the UK have obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA. With awareness of OSA low among the general public and even healthcare professionals, and up to 80 per cent of people with OSA remaining undiagnosed (and some studies suggest this could be even higher), there is a real need to take action on OSA – a known killer.

sleep cycle

Health boards are already under pressure to cut costs and improve standards by centralising services, but the British Lung Foundation says solutions can be found to provide better access for rural patients who are the ones to suffer most from lack of treatment or even diagnosis – and often with inevitable fatal results.

Earlier this year, the BLF launched a ten-point charter calling on governments and decision makers across the UK to take action to ensure that people affected by OSA are diagnosed earlier, and that they and their families get the treatment and support they need.

In a very short time this will save thousands of lives – and a great deal of money in the NHS budgets.

Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive, British Lung Foundation said:

Obstructive sleep apnoea is a treatable condition, but unfortunately awareness of it is not always what it should be. As a consequence too many people remain undiagnosed and untreated. Getting parliamentarians across the UK to engage with OSA as an issue is a great way to ensure the UK’s various governments and decision makers give OSA the attention it deserves.”

Caroline Stevens, Interim Chief Operating Officer at the BLF, said:

“The BLF’s OSA charter reflects the need for earlier diagnosis, better access to treatment and increased awareness – both amongst the wider public and medical community. The impact of OSA on health and lifestyle means these recommendations not only have the potential to save lives, but to make considerable savings to the NHS at a time of great financial pressure”.

Please help everyone with this problem by taking action now.

To write to your MP, MSP, AM or MLA by visiting this page:

www.blf.org.uk/osa-action

By John Redfern


Snorers who lie-in are TWICE as likely to develop bowel cancer

Snorers who sleep more than nine hours a night are twice as likely to develop bowel cancer than snorers who get seven hours of sleep a night, according to new research conducted at Harvard in the USA.

According to the Harvard study, snoring isn’t just annoying it poses very serious risks to a person’s health.

The study showed a significant link between long periods of sleep and the development of colorectal cancer, especially among people who are overweight or who snore. As a result, it is believed that obstructive sleep apnoea, a form of snoring that causes interrupted breathing during sleep, could contribute to an increased risk of cancer. One of the effects of sleep apnoea is that you are likely to suffer from excess fatigue because of disrupted sleep and this makes sufferers prone to sleeping longer to try to catch up.

The researchers asked participants to estimate their total hours of sleep in a 24-hour period and asked them if they snore.

A statement from the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School gave the following information:

‘Our current study adds to the very limited literature regarding the relationship between sleep duration, sleep quality and colorectal cancer risk. The novel observation of increased risk among regular snorers who sleep for long periods raises the possibility that sleep apnoea and its intermittent oxygen deprivation may contribute to cancer risk.’

Of 76,368 women and 30,121 men the researchers documented a total of 1,973 cases of colorectal cancer – almost 2 per cent of the total.

They broke the participants into subgroups which showed that men and women who were overweight, or who were regular snorers, and who reported sleeping nine hours or more per day, had a 1.4 to 2-fold increased risk of developing colorectal cancer compared to overweight people, or snorers, who got seven hours sleep a day.

The general recommendation is that most adults should get about seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

The authors suggest that the association between long sleep duration and colorectal cancer may be explained by obstructive sleep apnoea, which involves repetitive episodes of complete or partial upper airway obstruction during sleep.

The most common cause of obstructive sleep apnoea is excess body weight, and loud snoring is a common symptom of the condition.

The researchers strongly believe that sleep disruption caused by heavy snoring may reduce sleep quality and increase sleepiness, resulting in longer reported sleep durations. In addition to this, intermittent oxygen deprivation, similar to that which occurs in people with sleep apnoea, has been shown in animal models to promote significant tumour growth.

Other recent research has shown that people who sleep for less than six hours a night are at a significantly increased risk of stroke.

Researchers at the University of Alabama found that those in middle age who skimped on sleep were more likely to suffer stroke symptoms than those who got at least nine hours of shut-eye – even if they were a healthy weight and with no family history of stroke. Yet again, the scientists found that heavy snoring made the problem worse as it reduced the quality of people’s sleep.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that individual sleep needs vary. However, the general recommendation is that most adults should get about seven to eight hours of nightly sleep.

Relate this information to your own problem of snoring and take some immediate steps to reduce it – it’s ‘sound advice’.
By John Redfern

 


Oral Appliances Recommended For Sleep Apnoea

Perhaps someone has told you your snoring is deafening, or you’ve woken up on lots of mornings feeling less than refreshed. In those instances, it’s probably pretty obvious something is wrong with the way you sleep.

Sometimes it’s easy to diagnose the problem, but in the case of sleep apnoea, a disorder wherein people stop breathing while asleep, sometimes hundreds of times a night, pinpointing the problem can be significantly trickier. These brief periods when you stop breathing don’t trigger full alertness, but disrupt sleep enough to leave sufferers groggy in the mornings — and at risk for a number of more serious health problems, often without even realizing there’s a problem.

People with undiagnosed sleep apnoea may go on to develop depression, or even diabetes, and face an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, among other concerns.

Men over the age of 40 are most at risk. Being overweight also increases your likelihood of developing the condition, as can a family history of the disease, having a large tongue or neck and having allergies, sinus problems or any nasal obstruction, according to WebMD.

Luckily, there are a number of ways to treat sleep apnoea including simple lifestyle measures like losing weight and avoiding alcohol. But all too often a sleep apnoea diagnosis is hard to come by

A family member or bed partner is often first to notice the signs, usually snoring or brief periods of no breathing.

But don’t leave your health entirely in the hands of the people sleeping around you – take advice and do something about it.

‘Debbie’ wrote in to say that she was recently diagnosed with sleep apnoea. She was scheduled to get a CPAP breathing machine to treat it but when she went to her dentist she learned about another treatment option: a dental appliance fitted to her mouth, designed to keep her airway open when she sleeps.

As she is also mildly claustrophobic, it sounded like a better option. Now, months later, her sleep apnoea is gone and she’s seeing a chain of health benefits.

“I get up early, I’m usually busy all day,” she said. “I hardly ever nap anymore. My blood pressure is better.  I’ve cut my medicine in half and lost a little bit of weight and I just feel a lot better.”

A Sleep Centre Medical Director, Dr. Michael Coats, said the mandibular repositioning dental appliances are getting more popular. Before, the idea of a breathing machine may even have discouraged people from coming forward to get their sleep apnoea diagnosed.

“I think there’s lots of people that are more willing to seek treatment and evaluation if they realize they have options in regards to their treatment,” Coats said.

Debbie’ss dentist, Dr. Rob Heinrich, said it made sense to incorporate the dental devices into his business. The majority of the people he supplies with an oral appliance come in as recommendations from Sleep centres.

“What we’re finding is the compliance rates for the oral appliances is higher,” Heinrich said. “The efficacy or the success rate of the oral appliance may be lower, although, if the patient is not wearing a CPAP at all, the next best thing can be an oral appliance to help them.”

If you think you’re at risk – take a look at the range of oral appliances that are available from SleepPro – including a ready made Self Fit version for extra comfort, and the ultimate Custom version, specially made to fit you.
By John Redfern