Is my snoring sleep apnoea?

Ask yourself this important question before it’s too late.

Is my snoring sleep apnoea?

Everyone who has sleep apnoea snores, but not everyone who snores has sleep apnoea. So how do we know which of the two problems we have?

Sleep Apnoea

Couple sleeping and spooning in bed in bedroom at home

Sleep apnoea can affect anyone; man or woman, young or old. It seems to run in some families, suggesting a possible genetic basis. People most likely to have or develop sleep apnoea include those who snore loudly, are overweight, have high blood pressure, and may have some physical abnormality in the nose, throat, or other parts of the upper airway.

Sleep apnoea is a health condition involving the collapse of the upper airway while an individual sleeps, leading to reduced airflow to the lungs. This often causes the individual to wake up at frequent intervals during the night as a reflex response to the resultant insufficient oxygen supply.

The key symptom of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is very clear. Breathing pauses a number of times during sleep and these are called apneic events. There may be as many as 20 to 30 or more of these events per hour and between them you will snore.

OSA may also cause you to have a choking sensation and when your breathing restarts, you may make a loud snort or gasp. These frequent breaks in deep, restorative sleep often result in headaches and excessive daytime sleepiness and it has been proved that this constant interruption of oxygen supply to the brain can often have deadly results. Other symptoms include dry mouth or sore throat and problems paying attention.

This common sleep disorder is characterised by these repeated interruptions in breathing throughout the sleep cycle. Chronic sleep or respiratory conditions can have devastating effects if not treated or diagnosed, and it is estimated that 80% of patients with OSA remain undiagnosed, which can impact long-term health by turning sleep or breathing into a burden with the following being the key problems that result.

  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heart disease/heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Driving and work-related accidents

Sleep apnea affects more than just sleep; it can affect the relationships, productivity and even overall health of those suffering from this condition. Even worse, rather than solving the problem, sleeping with the usually prescribed continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) bulky equipment can sometimes make it even harder to get a good night’s rest. An incredibly high percentage of those using CPAP equipment simply stop doing so and therefore receive no treatment and are described as ‘CPAP intolerant’.

Now, in many cases other than those which are extreme, difficulty in wearing the CPAP facemask through which oxygen is pumped all night, is no longer a problem as an efficient oral appliance will prevent most of the problem and in doing so, protect your short and long term health.

Recently, both the NHS and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) approved dental appliances as a first line of treatment for snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnoea and for patients with severe sleep apnoea who cannot tolerate CPAP.

After extensive research, the appliance recommended by the NHS in the UK above all others, was the SleepPro Custom, which moves the lower jaw forward, into a comfortable position, and ensures there is no obstruction of your airway. An ideal solution for snoring and related issues, the Custom can improve sleep quality and is a medically approved alternative to CPAP therapy and the awkward and uncomfortable CPAP equipment.

The SleepPro Custom is made from a fully customized dental impression that you would create with the special kit provided, and as a consequence is comfortable as well as effective. Once we receive your impressions our UK Dental laboratories will custom make the oral appliance to fit you perfectly. It is many times cheaper than similarly made appliances that are supplied by a Dentist, and it is made in exactly the same way.

John Redfern

 


New research proves that snoring speeds cancer development

A new European sleep apnoea study has found that snoring promotes cancer development because it limits oxygen intake. This might worsen outcomes for cancer patients. It reveals that intermittent hypoxia, which is a common side effect of sleep apnoea, promotes cancer development by promoting blood vessel growth within tumours.

 stop snoring and cancer risk

Lead researcher Dr. Antoni Vilaseca, of the Hospital Clinic De Barcelona in Spain, and his colleagues, recently presented their findings at the European Association of Urology (EAU) Congress in Munich, Germany.

Numerous previous studies have linked bad sleep to poor cancer outcomes, and this latest study reveals that hypoxia may be the reason why it happens. Researchers in Spain explain that hypoxia, which is just one of the many consequences of sleep apnoea, happens when body tissues or organs don’t get enough oxygen.

A 2012 study reported by Medical News Today, for example, suggests that sleep apnea increases the risk of cancer death. Last year, MNT also reported on a study linking heavy snoring and sleep apnoea to earlier cognitive decline including Alzheimer’s and dementia – both being advanced by 5 to 10 years because of it.

Abnormal breathing patterns during sleep, like sleep apnoea and heavy snoring, are more common as we age. According to published figures, such breathing problems affect around 52% of elderly men and 26% of elderly women.

Lead researcher Antoni Vilaseca of Hospital Clínic De Barcelona said that the latest findings suggest obstructive sleep apnea promotes cancer development by increasing blood flow in tumours. Dr. Vilaseca and his colleagues recently presented their findings at the European Association of Urology (EAU) Congress in Munich, Germany.

“Patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea usually suffer from intermittent hypoxia at night. This work shows that intermittent hypoxia has the potential to promote the formation of blood vessels within tumours, meaning that the tumours have access to more nutrients,” Vilaseca said in a news release.

Sleep apnoea is a disorder in which a person has shallow breaths or one or more pauses in breathing during sleep. Such pauses can last from seconds up to a few minutes, and they can happen as many as 30 times in an hour. Obstructive sleep apnoea is the most common form of the condition, where the airway becomes blocked or collapses during sleep. It can easily be prevented, by the wearing of a simple mouthpiece at night, but the majority of cases go undiagnosed and untreated. Snorers and their partners continue to ignore it and even consider it harmless.

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) affects millions of people worldwide and is an ever-increasing problem, mostly due to the increase of some of the main lifestyle factors that cause it. It is known to affect more than 18 million Americans in the US, with millions more not having treatment. Risk factors for the disorder include a small upper airway, smoking, alcohol use, being overweight and having a large neck, small jaw or a large overbite.

Approximately 5% of the UK adult population is known to have OSA, and the figures for Australia are even higher. Some of the high-population emergent nations have even bigger levels. Figures published this week stated that the level in India was assessed at 15%, and that for China higher still. Asia News alarmingly reported that as many as 30% of the population had OSA.

“Although this is an experimental study, it is remarkable, because it demonstrates the influence of oxygen deficiency on the growth of renal cell carcinoma tissue. Increased oxygenation of the blood may be the underlying mechanism why not smoking or giving up smoking, regular sport activity, reducing the body mass index and other lifestyle changes that increase tissue oxygenation have a supportive beneficial effect on better outcomes in renal cell cancer as well as other tumour types,” Arnulf Stenzl, Chair of the EAU Congress Committee, said in a statement.

Whatever the figures are – action is required at every level including Government controlled Health Services. Oral appliances similar to a sports mouthguard, when worn at night, have been proved by the NHS Researchers in Britain to prevent and control the problem. These appliances are inexpensive and easily available with no prescription required – but the majority of snorers ignore the problem until it’s too late.

John Redfern

 


Does your partner snore loudly and keep you awake?

Comedians joke about snoring, but snoring can be deadly serious. Snoring can be much more than a nuisance – it can keep you awake, get on your nerves and drive your partner into denial about how loud they are doing it when you confront them the following morning. So if your partner doesn’t believe he snores, you will have to persuade him that he does.

Woman Disturbed By The Snores Of Husband In The Bedroom

Your partner’s snoring could be a serious health and quality-of-life issue for both of you. If your partner’s snoring undermines your sleep then your brain and body are doing less well. With poorer sleep your work life, friendships, memory, driving, and everything else you do in life may suffer. The snoring can even become a threat to your relationship.

In fact, it’s recorded as the third biggest reason for divorce and forces many couples to sleep apart even when still together. However you can play an important part not only in keeping the relationship together, but also in making significant improvements to the health of you both by avoiding major health problems now, and more so later in life. Therefore it’s actually very important to monitor your partner’s snoring and keep your ears peeled for particular sounds and changes.

Firstly, although snoring isn’t natural, it’s very common as we all know, and steps should be taken to resolve it. The cause is a simple one. Snoring mostly occurs when the soft tissue part of our upper airway vibrates. This is called the uvula or soft palate and it normally happens when someone inhales during sleep. Although it is most common in middle-aged men, many women, and younger people suffer from the problem too.

Snoring is most commonly caused by someone being overweight, smoking, drinking alcohol and nasal obstruction (from flu or allergies etc.) – all of which are very important health issues in themselves. The cause of the snoring should be addressed in it’s own right – a quiet night’s sleep is an added bonus. Although the snorer is asleep, the person isn’t actually sleeping well and this can result in fatigue and headaches.

After years of snoring, it is possible for it to develop into Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). Signs of OSA include very loud snoring with periods when the person stops breathing for up to 10 seconds before gasping and choking. This could happen many times throughout the night. At this time oxygen is unable to reach the brain, which alerts the person and they wake briefly, but they won’t remember doing so.

OSA should always be addressed urgently as it can develop into more serious conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart issues. It has now been prove to be a significant cause of diabetes type 2, and also to advance cognitive problems such as Alzheimer’s or dementia by anything from five to ten years.

Women suffer too and they are more likely to snore after the menopause as a drop in their oestrogen and progesterone levels leave them less protected against lifestyle changes. They are more likely than men to suffer from problems such as depression, insomnia and headaches due to snoring.

To overcome the problem of snoring and prevent it’s development then obviously certain changes in lifestyle will be helpful, but these are often slow and difficult targets to attain – and sometimes far from popular so people give up. However if you do take active steps to improve your lifestyle then you will feel the benefits in other consequential areas.

To prevent snoring and OSA, there are products available with virtually 100% success rates and these are both recommended and approved by the NHS without the need for a prescription or making visits to Hospitals with designated Sleep Centres.

A simple, comfortable oral appliance, similar to a sports gum shield can be worn during sleep to eliminate the problem. They are unobtrusive and comfortable to wear as they mould easily in seconds to fit the shape of your mouth. They’re also inexpensive and start at under £40 whether it’s just for snoring, or for the more dangerous version called sleep apnoea.

What price a healthy longer life?

John Redfern


It’s easy – stop snoring and start to lose weight

Do you find it impossible to lose those unwanted pounds even though you’ve tried to cut down on fatty foods and exercise regularly? According to a new book reviewed at length in The Daily Mail, the key to successful weight loss lies not so much with what you’re eating and how much exercise you’re taking – but with your sleeping habits.

Stop snoring lose weight

In ‘The Duvet Diet – Sleep Yourself Slim’, health journalist Jane Worthington looks at a host of new research that suggests broken nights significantly disrupt our hormones and metabolism, leaving us much more prone to overeating and weight gain.

But once you get into healthy sleep habits, she says, you’ll find it much easier to control your appetite and lose weight. She quotes a recent study of more than 6,000 people carried out at Columbia University, America.

Stopping snoring will obviously help you and your partner to sleep better and this research has now clearly proved that this makes weight loss much easier. Scientists have found that sleep deprivation causes excessive hunger, which may lead to an increased BMI and other health problems. Sleep better and without even trying you’ll eat less because you’ll feel less hungry and you’ll not be prone to snacking.

When it comes to getting more sleep, Jane Worthington suggests that simply improving your bedtime routine and eating habits can work wonders – though if you snore, it is vital you address this problem first of all.

Snoring is a major cause of sleeplessness. If you gasp for breath when you’re sleeping, it can mean that you could be waking up as much as 100 times an hour without realising.

Severe snoring can be due to a condition called sleep apnoea, when you struggle to get air into your lungs because something is restricting the airway. This restriction often comes from the weight of fat around the neck – a problem that becomes more prevalent with age as muscle tone in the neck decreases. People with short wide necks are most prone to snoring.

Men are also more susceptible as they tend to accumulate more fat around the neck as they age and have narrower air pipes than women but a simple stop snoring mouthpiece designed for either sex will move the bottom jaw forward, keep the airway open, and prevent snoring.

Another new study looked at changes in body chemistry when deprived of sleep, and concluded that sleep deprivation causes excessive hunger. The lead author states that his findings add to the growing evidence of the dramatic effects on weight of snoring, sleep apnoea and sleep deprivation.

Losing weight is never easy, and harder for some people than others, but it has been proved that losing massive amounts of weight isn’t necessary to improve health. Shedding just 5% of body weight has been found to produce the biggest health benefits.

Researchers say this relatively small weight loss markedly lowers people’s risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as improving metabolic function in liver, fat and muscle tissue. They suggest it makes more sense for doctors to give patients this target to aim for than follow standard advice recommending they aim to lose up to 10% – a much higher target that may be counterproductive and even deter them.

Those patients who managed to lose 5% of their body weight experienced improvements to the secretion of insulin as well as insulin sensitivity, lowering their risk of type 2 diabetes. Future research may test whether a 5% weight loss would be beneficial to people already diagnosed with diabetes.

Commenting on the findings the British Heart Foundation says: “This study is good news for people who struggle with their weight as it suggests that even losing a small amount of weight can have a positive impact on health.

“As little as 5% weight loss resulted in improved blood pressure and lower levels of blood fats and blood sugar, which are all risk factors for heart disease. Losing more weight further improved heart health but setting realistic goals such as 5% is a good way to maintain healthy weight loss”.

When it comes to reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, lifestyle changes do not just apply to losing weight. Giving up smoking, preventing snoring or sleep apnoea, decreasing your alcohol intake and being more physically active all help reduce our risk of developing heart disease.

Stopping snoring will kick-start the weight loss automatically without you embarking on major forced changes in your eating habits or a ‘duvet diet’.

John Redfern