STOP SNORING WEEK • Day 4

Children’s Health • Snoring – What Mothers really need to know.

Snoring in children can range from a gentle little noise every now and then, to a loud snore every night. At a worrying time like this, with Measles topping the headlines as a health danger for children, parents need to better understand what snoring is and whether or not it is a problem for their child.

What Is Snoring?
Snoring is the sound of the upper-airway passage vibrating with effort to let air pass through. The louder and more chronic and constant the snore is, the more likely it is that the upper airway is not only floppy, but perhaps not staying ‘open’ enough for air to get through during sleep.

When the upper airway closes fully during sleep, this is called obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). If this occurs, the air, and therefore the oxygen, will stop flowing through the body for a short while and the child will appear to stop breathing. After a few seconds, the body will react to the lack of oxygen, and the child will take a deep breath, gasp and then settle back into a normal breathing and sleeping pattern until the next time the flow of oxygen stops.

Sometimes this upper-airway obstruction is only partial and is called Hypopnea Syndrome (HS). This is not as severe as OSA, but still needs attention in children because even small amounts of upper-airway collapsibility can indicate problems with overnight breathing.

However, not all snoring is due to OSA or HS. Primary snoring is snoring that does not involve upper-airway closure or blood-oxygen reduction. Many children have occasional primary snoring, particularly between the ages of two and four, or when they have a cold or allergy.

If the snoring is chronic, and is not related to a cold or an allergy, then it is worth investigating because research suggests primary snoring (even without oxygen changes or gasping for breath) still disrupts sleep.

What Impact Does Snoring Have On Children?
Snoring children will have constantly disrupted and poor-quality sleep. They are more likely to have nightmares and night terrors, and be restless. It is thought that snoring children are hot and sweaty due to difficulty regulating their body temperature and/or because they move around a lot.

Snoring, particularly when it is associated with OSA or HS, can also have an impact on daytime performance, the same as it does with adults, including reduced attention and memory performance, and problem-solving skills, which can affect learning and schoolwork. Snoring, poor sleep and OSA can also increase the likelihood of weight gain.

What Causes Snoring?
As noted above, snoring is caused mainly by a floppy upper airway, but other factors can play a role in this. They are:
1.    Jaw or nose shape
2.    Age: children between two and four are more likely to snore 3.    Allergies and colds
4.    Obesity
5.    Large tonsils and/or adenoids

How Prevalent Is Snoring In Children?
Snoring is common between the ages of two and four, and up to 30 per cent of children will snore during that age range and not snore again. But in general, 15 per cent of children will suffer from primary snoring more than three times per week, and about two per cent of those children will have OSAS or HS.

To begin to investigate your child’s snoring, speak to your GP who will refer you to the appropriate health professional if there is a problem.

Treatment Options Available
The treatments for snoring are aimed at trying to get the air to move freely through the upper airway during sleep and the cause of the snore will dictate the treatment. Most symptomatic snoring is usually treated in children over two years of age with an operation to take out enlarged tonsils or adenoids.

Sometimes there is a need for additional treatments to clear the nose with sprays and medications, or surgery. One possibility for resistant OSA is the continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) machine. This is a ventolin mask worn over the nose and mouth during sleep that keeps the airways open by diverting air down through the airway during sleep.

This machine, while very effective, is often difficult for children to wear – and even adults reject it as a route. Very few children will need treatment such as the CPAP machine for sleep apnoea for the rest of their lives.

Do Children Outgrow Snoring?
Snoring generally resolves itself, either with age or intervention. In fact, there is still a lot of research needed to help us to get the best treatments for snoring that will ensure children will remain healthy throughout their lives.

Snoring does not necessarily indicate a problem, but if your child does snore, even when they do not have a cold, parents should be vigilant for any problems.
By John Redfern


STOP SNORING WEEK • Day 3

SleepPro support the British Lung Foundation in their action on sleep apnoea

It has become more and more apparent that heavy snoring and OSA (obstructive sleep apnoea) need to be treated much more seriously by all the national health services. As a consequence The British Lung Foundation has launched a new online initiative that encourages people to email their local parliamentarian, urging them to take action in parliament in the UK to draw attention to the problems presented by obstructive sleep apnoea.

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) and most of these cases go undiagnosed and untreated.

Obstructive sleep apnoea is a condition in which people continually stop breathing when muscle and soft tissues in the throat relax during sleep and block the airway.

With awareness of OSA low among the general public and 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.

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.

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.”

When we go to sleep our muscles relax, including those in our throat. In some people the relaxing muscles cause the throat to narrow, which can reduce the airflow. This results in snoring.

If the throat closes (obstructs) completely, you stop breathing temporarily – this is called an apnoea, or if throat partially closes it is called a hypopnoea. When this happens, there may be a dip in the level of oxygen in the blood.

The brain starts the person breathing again: some people wake up briefly, others are not aware of what is happening. Breathing often restarts with a gasp, and the pattern repeats. In severe cases this cycle happens hundreds of times a night. This can cause the person to feel very sleepy during the day, because their sleep is being disrupted at night.

The oxygen disruption is extremely dangerous and can be a key factor in the development of long-term health problems such as diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular problems and even cancer.

Act now…..Save Lives

To write to your MP, MSP, AM or MLA by visiting this page:
www.blf.org.uk/osa-action
By John Redfern


STOP SNORING WEEK • Day 2

Most heavy snoring goes untreated – and causes serious health problems

Serious cases of sleep apnoea and heavy snoring have been very much the focus of most of the media in the last week – not just because of ‘Stop Snoring Week’, but also due to World Sleep Apnoea Day last Thursday.

Snoring is no longer regarded as being simply just a male domain and it is thought that snoring affects at least 4 million people in the UK alone. With obesity rates stubbornly high and rising, as well as the influence that alcohol intake and smoking has over snoring, more and more women are also trying to prevent their snoring once and for all.

Current estimates suggest that 40 per cent of UK men snore and 25 per cent of all women – and the figures are rising quickly due to lifestyle factors.

The world’s health systems are finally beginning to realise the true severity and the massive scale of the problem that exists, and it is one that is growing rapidly due to problems such as the increasing tendency to obesity and the social changes that have produced a different lifestyle for us all. Lesser physical activity in the jobs that we do is considered to be quite a major contributory factor….in essence, we sit too long.

In addition, many hospitals, universities and other qualified research bodies around the world have produced very detailed studies that have stated categorically that the majority of cases go untreated, resulting in serious health problems for the sufferer later in life – particularly the over 40’s.

The risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer have all been linked to heavy snoring, and so have poor sleep patterns – along with the major social problems that are always associated with them – daytime fatigue affecting work, and disturbed nights affecting relationships.

The saving for the health system of tackling snoring in any form is massive. The big problem is to get people to accept that they snore because they don’t hear it – so listen to your partner’s opinion – and act on it.

The general viewpoint is that many heavy snorers and sleep apnoea sufferers are put off by the thought of having to wear breathing masks all night – uncomfortable, restraining, and causing very dry throats – let alone being extremely claustrophobic.

With that in mind, many experts are directing those who snore towards the oral appliance route; a mouthpiece that acts quickly, is easier to adapt to, and is easily available both through the NHS, your dentist, or simply from a reputable manufacturer – and with no prescription required.

Companies such as SleepPro offer a range of optional mouthpieces to suit all snorers and at highly affordable prices – in fact can you really afford not to. They all come with high success rates and were designed in consultation with both doctors and dentists, and importantly are NHS approved.
By John Redfern


STOP SNORING WEEK • Day 1

The bedroom battleground: Four in ten snorers argue with their partner over the noise while a quarter don’t even share a bed.

The latest figures show that around a quarter of women and four in ten men are frequent snorers, although nearly half of all people snore occasionally.

A new survey of 1,134 snorers and their partners, conducted to mark National Stop Snoring Week, found that 27 per cent of people are regularly left feeling grouchy, 21 per cent constantly feel tired, and 16 per cent are less productive as a result of snoring.

More than a half of respondents said they had never tried anything to tackle the problem.

 Some 41% of snorers engage in regular night-time tussles with partners

 More than half of people have never tried anything to tackle the problem

 Around one quarter of women and four in ten men are frequent snorers

Bedtime should be a blissful part of any happy couple’s day and the bedroom a safe haven where partners snuggle up before drifting into a peaceful night’s sleep.However, for many couples, it has become a battleground and the site of a nightly war with a single cause: SNORING.

A new study has found that 41 per cent of snorers engage in regular nightly disagreements with their partners. They are usually woken up by an annoying whistle, wheeze or snort and the annoyed party will attempt to shift their partner from on their back onto their side to help ease the noise. Others find even a shove or dig in the ribs does not work and so 28 per cent regularly resort to sleeping in another room to get some sleep.

Snoring can be caused by a number of factors.

Dr Chris Idzikowski, Director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, said: ‘Snoring can greatly impact sleep quality which may eventually lead to more serious health problems.

‘To ensure couples maintain the intimacy of their relationship and prevent snoring from getting in the way of a good night’s sleep, it is important that both the snorer and the partner work together to find a solution.

‘If you or your partner snore then there’s a variety of simple things you can do to manage the condition such as sleeping on your front or side, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding alcohol late at night.

‘While there is no cure for snoring, it can be controlled so it may also be worth discussing options such as mouth guards.’
By John Redfern


Stop snoring, start sleeping!

‘National Stop Snoring Week’ 22-26 April 2013

If snoring or sleep problems are causing you or your partner sleepless nights, then it’s time to take steps to solve the problem. Every recent research project has recently confirmed and warned about the serious dangers to your health if you snore heavily – including diabetes, dangerous fatigue, cardiovascular problems and strokes – sometimes resulting in death In addition, we all know the damaging effect it can have on a relationship.

Snoring is no longer a Music Hall joke, and it is certainly not restricted to men as was always thought. Recent figures have shown that many women also snore and have gone in rapidly increasing numbers to search for cures with their Doctors, dentists, and specialist Sleep centres.

There are a number of other major contributory factors that include alcohol, smoking, obesity and other lifestyle-related behaviour including the poor sleep levels due to the technology constantly employed today.

Our children too are suffering – literally – from the problem of snoring. Numerous reports attribute many serious child behavioural problems to the resultant lack of sleep because of snoring, and serious fatigue levels during school that impair their learning facility. Again, late night technology, a major part of today’s youth culture, relates closely to serious sleep disorders.

It’s time to act – and the media during Stop Snoring Week will tell us daily.

If you, or your partner, snore heavily, disturbing the peace at night, then make sure you do something about it – and don’t delay. There are proven simple solutions that are easy to obtain and NHS Approved.

The SleepPro dental mouthpiece is a leading product range that has been specially designed to fight snoring and end this serious problem – immediately. It was designed and is manufactured to a style developed through consultation between British Doctors and Dentists. Not only is the product NHS Recommended, but is also easily accessible, inexpensive, produces rapid results, and has a 98% overall success rate.

So make sure to look at the range of products on offer that include the Standard mouthpiece, a version that is self-fit for comfort, and their ultimate product, the Custom, that is tailor made to fit you in a matter of days.

SleepPro products are at the leading edge of Oral Appliance Technology and a programme of constant research, product development and improvement ensures that they stay ahead of the rest in preventing this serious health-related danger.

Make sure you act immediately if you snore – either for yourself or on behalf of your partner. If the problem is really serious then don’t hesitate to consult your GP because you could be preventing major health problems later – or even saving a life.

By John Redfern


Do you Snore? In the USA Sleep Apnoea Awareness Day is April 18, 2013. Here at SleepPro – it’s every day.

The American Sleep Apnoea Association lists Sleep Apnoea Awareness day as April 18, 2013 and media across the country are running special programmes to raise awareness of sleep disorders, as well as many dental offices across the country who are offering free sleep apnoea screenings.

Sleep Pro would like to support this by telling you the top 10 signs of OSA

With over 80 Million people undiagnosed with OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnoea) in the USA alone, and many millions more here in the UK, it’s assumed that more physicians would implement greater OSA treatments in their practices.  Interestingly enough, dentists are among the small group of practitioners stepping up, to take on the sleepy killer, OSA.

With sleep apnoea, chronic low oxygen levels in the blood stress brain and heart function. Research indicates that ninety-per cent of individuals with the disease (OSA) are still undiagnosed.  Many GP’s and Dentists recommend trying a simple device worn over the teeth at night that keeps the tongue from blocking the airway. This allows for adequate breathing and oxygen levels while asleep.

SleepPro are specialists in Oral Appliance Technology and have a choice of mouthpieces at various price points that will help prevent the problem.

Sleep Apnoea is a dangerous disorder, coming with serious side effects which span from heart attack to death and we always recommend that you see your GP if you have the symptoms listed below.

The Top 10 signs that you may have OSA, Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Snoring
Daytime Fatigue and sleepiness
Obesity
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Repeated awakenings during sleep
Depression
Irritability
Morning headaches
Decreased Concentration, focus and memory loss
Rapid or irregular heartbeat

By John Redfern


Who is the Worst Snorer in London?

The LBC website article states It was revealed that one in four women and four in 10 men snore, causing break-ups in marriages at record levels, so the LBC Journalist decided to find the worst in the capital city and surrounding Home Counties.

 

Across London this last weekend, the partners and children of snorers secretly recorded them at night to take part in this competition….with amusing results unless you are one of those persons concerned – because the risks to health can be so dangerous in certain severe cases as all the recent Health Studies have clearly stated.

However we thought that you might like to hear how serious the problem is – so if you wish to listen to this hilarious clip to hear the finalists and the winner of the competition finals then visit the LBC Great British Snore Off and listen to the extent of the problem for yourself.

By John Redfern


Sleep shapes a new Computer Game for Teenagers

Channel 4 Education and Chunk have co-operated to let teens turn their sleep patterns into a game with new app called ‘Zeds’.

Channel 4 Education and Chunk have co-operated to let teens turn their sleep patterns into a game with new app called ‘Zeds’.

Channel 4 Education and Games company Chunk have today launched a new app, which lets teenagers record their sleep patterns, which is then used to build a ‘track’ for a game.

Called Zeds, the tracks created by the apps reflect the pattern of the sleep, changing features as you move from light to deep, and aims to show teenagers the effects of poor quality of sleep.

When sleep has been really poor, the game will be much harder, while periods of deep sleep are calmer and populated with collectible ‘Z’s, giving temporary immunity and other bonuses – in the usual way of reward.

The owner and founder of Chunk, Donnie Kerrigan, said: “Channel 4’s brief was to present the facts about sleep to teenagers, an do it in a format that they’d engage with, to help them come to their own conclusions about their sleeping habits and how it affects them.

“Tracking their sleep, and then delivering the data as a game, is as direct, entertaining and memorable way of doing that as we can imagine. And, importantly, it’s a unique idea that will catch their interest in the first place.”

Chunk commissioned BAFTA award winning animation team, The Brothers McLeod, to bring the game characters and environments to life.

Faraz Osman, Editor of Dducation at Channel 4, said: “We wanted to encourage teenagers to both switch off from their gadgets, and help them understand the benefits of doing so. New research is revealing that sleep is a vital part of education and development and impacts on so many elements of life for teens, and yet is often overlooked, or felt to be unimportant. We wanted something that could alter that perception in an intelligent way.”

Available at the moment on iPhone and iPod Touch, the app is also supported by Professor Russell Foster, FRS; Professor of Circadian Neuroscience at Oxford University.

By John Redfern


Lack of sleep may disrupt genes

Getting too little sleep can play havoc with our health, say some experts, and the biggest cause of this disruption by far is snoring.

Sleeping for fewer than six hours for several nights in a row affects hundreds of genes in our bodies and it is these genes that are responsible for keeping us in good health, says a new study. Research led by the Surrey Sleep Research Centre has found that people who were subjected to sleep deprivation for a week underwent physical changes at a molecular level that could affect their wellbeing seriously if they continued for the long term

Sleep disorders are common in industrialised nations, with between 10% and 20% of the European and US population reporting frequent sleep disruption. Insufficient sleep and disruption to the sleep-wake cycle – which is known as the circadian rhythm – are known to have a damaging effect on health, but the reasons behind this remain largely unexplored.

Details of the Laboratory sleep tests

Although relatively small, this study could be of major importance and it involved a group of healthy adults -14 men and 12 women. All those taking part in the study were allowed to sleep under laboratory conditions for 5.7 hours one week and 8.5 hours another week.

After each of the two seven day periods, whole blood samples were collected from each individual and a specific analysis carried out. This involved the analysis of RNA – correctly called messenger RNA, and this plays a vital role in making proteins. These samples allowed the researchers to examine what is happening to the RNA in the blood, brain and liver.

Professor Derk-Jan Dijk and his colleagues at the Surrey Sleep centre found that volunteers who got less than six hours sleep each night over the course of a week experienced changes to as many as 711 RNA genes that are linked to inflammation, fighting disease and stress. These changes, just due to one week’s sleep deprivation, might have a major impact on obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and brain function if they continue in the long term. The data suggest several ways by which sleep restriction and disruption of the circadian rhythm may be linked to negative health outcomes and there is evidence that the circadian rhythm could be one general pathway by which sleep restriction leads to major health problems.

The findings appear in detail in the journal PNAS.

Obesity and diabetes

Commenting on the study, Professor Adrian Williams, who is Professor of Sleep Medicine at King’s College, London tells us that people should not be unduly concerned about how much sleep they are getting. “Individuals are individuals,” he says. “As a Society we often sleep an extra two hours at the weekend to make up for a lack of sleep during the week – in this 24/7 society – so probably we tend to sleep less than we need to, but it’s very individual – so people shouldn’t be unduly worried.”

However, Professor Williams says he believes that “sleep deprivation or sleep interruption is a drive to diabetes and obesity – and, of course, linked to these is high blood pressure and heart disease,” he says.

Restrict snoring goes a long way to solving this problem in men, women and even children.

Professor Jim Horne from the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University tells us: “The potential perils of ‘sleep debt’ in today’s society and the need for ‘eight hours sleep a night’ are overplayed and can cause undue concern.”

He explains: “Although this important study seems to support this concern, the participants had their sleep suddenly restricted to an unusually low level, which must have been somewhat stressful.  “We must be careful not to generalise such findings to, say, habitual six-hour sleepers who are happy with their sleep.  Besides, sleep can adapt to some change, and should also be judged on its quality, not simply on its total amount.”

The key to healthy sleep is the quality and not the duration according to many of the leading experts so disruption should be avoided wherever necessary. If you snore, you should take steps now to resolve the problem, as the effects are serious and far-reaching as far as your health is concerned.
By John Redfern


Does snoring keep you awake all night?

Can you identify with the following scenario?

Every night the same ritual plays out in the bedroom. She goes to sleep before her husband does, and then she’s awakened by the sound of his snoring and often moves to another room. Multiply that scenario by a few million, and you’ll get a sense of what’s going on in couples’ bedrooms all over the country.

The NHS says almost half of people in the UK snore sometimes and around a quarter of us are regular snorers.

This cannot only have an impact on how well you sleep but can negatively affect relationships between bed partners.  Banishing your bed partner to another room, however, isn’t always a sound approach. A better solution would, of course, be to cure the snoring, because it can be a sign of more serious health problems that require treatment.

What causes snoring?

To no one’s surprise, the largest group of run-of-the-mill snorers is the middle-aged and older man, but snoring is more common than most people realise. 30% of adults over the age of 30 snore, and women make up one-third of those snorers. Benign snoring, as it’s called, is caused by “upper airway turbulence” that leads to vibrations of the soft palate and the uvula (that little flap that hangs down at the back of the throat).

When you think about it, the fact that snoring increases with age makes sense. As we age we lose muscle tone everywhere, including in our palates, which become flabby and thus more susceptible to vibration. Allergies or being overweight can also contribute to snoring. Drinking alcohol before bedtime, which relaxes the muscles in the airway, is another potential cause. Or you may simply have been born to snore due to having a larger tongue or palatte

When is snoring a serious sleep problem?

Snoring has been fodder for humourists for centuries. However, it’s really not that funny to be kept awake all night, and it’s even less amusing when the noise is a sign of a serious health problem, known as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), is a disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops for brief periods during sleep because the throat muscles can’t keep the airway consistently open. This leads to fragmented sleep and lowers oxygen levels in the blood, which in turn puts people at risk for cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease, not to mention daytime fatigue.

The NHS says OSA is a relatively common condition that affects men more than women. About 3.5% of men and 1.5% of women have OSA. The condition is most common in people aged 40 or over, but it can affect people of all ages, including children.

Since snorers rarely wake themselves, their bed partners play a critical role in making sure they get help. Therefore, leaving the room, or kicking your partner out of bed, is a bad idea, because then no one can monitor the nature of the snoring.

If a woman observes that her husband is snorting, gasping or puffing, or if his snoring isn’t steady but goes up and down in volume, he should be evaluated for sleep apnoea. Likewise, if your bed partner notices these symptoms in you, you should be evaluated. Most primary care physicians don’t routinely ask about sleep habits, so it’s important to bring the topic up yourself and get a referral to a sleep specialist, if necessary.

Is there a cure for snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea?

Fortunately, treatments exist to help snorers and those with obstructive sleep apnoea. You can use oral devices to help you solve the problem and the products made and designed here in Britain are ‘NHS Recommended’.

These appliances hold the tongue and jaw in such a way that the airway remains open and have been found to be quite effective for benign snorers, with success rates ranging up to 80%. They can also be effective for OSA, although at lower rates of success up to 50%. What’s key, say experts, is to have one that is custom fit but try the standard version first.

 
 

By John Redfern