Have trouble drifting off? You may be at risk of heart failure

Norwegian Study reaffirms the link between sleep deprivation and cardiovascular health

The study, published in the European Heart Journal, followed more than 50 thousand people over a period of more than a decade, research showed that those who suffered from poor sleeping patterns on regular occasions were more likely to suffer from cardiovascular issues, in this case where the heart fails to pump correctly.

Sleep experts and medical professionals stress that more research is required in to the full extent of the link.

The study analysed results from subjects between the ages of 20 and 90, research indicated that those who struggled to get to sleep and those who regularly woke up prematurely were more likely to suffer from heart problems.

Participants were quizzed on whether they had trouble drifting off to sleep and whether they felt fully rested in the morning. Those who had trouble falling asleep were as much as three times more likely to suffer from heart failure and those who repeatedly felt exhausted each morning were also at risk.

Stress Hormones

When you suffer from sleep deprivation your body can release harmful stress hormones that both keep you awake and impact on your health.

Insomnia is a problem for many people, this news isn’t likely to ease their concerns. There is something of a continuous cycle between suffering from insomnia, suffering from stress and therefore exasperating the condition.

Some Good News

The good news is that many of the lifestyle changes you can do will not only help prevent insomnia, but will simultaneously improve your overall health.

Changes such as getting more exercise, preventing snoring and cutting out smoking can all have major potential benefits.

So really it’s never been a better time to improve your sleeping pattern, particularly with the amount of research that’s being released in recent weeks.
By Richard Owen


A Good Night's Sleep is what Women Want for Mother's Day

If you’re pondering over the perfect gift for your mother coming up to this weekend (Mother’s day is the 10th of March just in case you forget) then it appears that a good night’s sleep is what women really want.

A survey conducted by 1,000 mothers was conducted by the online discount site, Netvouchercodes.co.uk..

A healthy night’s sleep and a lie-in came top of the poll with 20% of the vote, mothers were asked the question of what would be their perfect gift this Mother’s day, aside from the usual choices of flowers and chocolates.

In second place was spending quality time with the family, many mothers find it difficult to do so particularly with a full-time job.

Other less popular results were the opportunity to have someone cook for them, a hot cup of tea, a clean house, an iPad and rather heartlessly with 1% of the vote, cold hard cash.

But many mothers are simply hoping for the rare opportunity to stay in bed this Sunday, this seems like a fairly simple idea but given the stresses and strains of work and home-life many mothers simply don’t get the required amount of sleep each night.

How can I give someone a good night’s sleep as a gift?

This is a very sensible question, after all it is essentially up to the individual to make lifestyle changes that will improve their sleeping pattern but one thing we can all do to improve our sleeping patterns is to cut out snoring.

Snoring affects most of us to some degree, either through our own snoring or though another member of the family. Snoring can have a potentially negative affect on our sleeping patter, leaving many people tired in the mornings after they failed to get their recommended daily allowance.

Snoring is actually one of the leading causes of sleep deprivation, if we occasionally have no control over work and domestic commitments then snoring is definitely something that can be prevented easily.

Sleep Deprivation is a topic that has been covered extensively in recent weeks by some of the most respected media sources in the United Kingdom, from the Guardian to the BBC. Studies show that just a week of sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on our genes, in the process sleep deprivation can damage our immune system leaving us more vulnerable to regular, every day issues such as cold, flu and other common viruses.

Recent studies have also shown that there is a link between snoring and our cardiovascular health. Habitual snorers were found to have thinner walls within cartoid arteries, these are common within smokers too, damage to these arteries can potentially cause difficulties in your heart, particularly high blood pressure and diabetes.

If snoring is a potentially treatable problem then we should be doing more as a society to actively correct the problem.

So what we’re essentially asking is either to cut out your mother’s, your partner’s snoring or better yet, sort out your own snoring problems.

How to stop snoring?

As we’ve already stated, snoring is one of the most common causes of sleep deprivation but is also one of the most treatable.

Surgery

Many people find that surgery is an effective treatment, surgery does offer high levels of success in preventing the problem but as with any surgical procedure it can cause potentially harmful side effects. Surgery is considered one of the more drastic methods to curing such a preventable problem, in addition the procedure is considered to be pretty invasive.

CPAP

Continous positive airway pressure is a proven way to prevent the problem but it certainly isn’t without its problems, the process involves wearing a mask while you sleep that continuously pumps air in to your throat, this in turn prevents snoring and sleep apnea.

This is also a rather drastic method, many have found that the machine is somewhat cumbersome and is uncomfortable to wear every night.

Mandibular Advancement Device

This is what we’re advising as the ideal way to prevent habitual snoring and sleep apnea, this is a method that’s clinically proven to produce results without the hassle and unnecessary stress that comes with surgery and CPAP.

This is also a cost effective method compared with other treatments, so we advise you try one a mandibular advancement device before the more drastic options.

So why not get yourself the perfect gift for Mother’s day with a stop snoring device (although some flowers probably wouldn’t go a miss).

By Richard Owen


Do You Snore? Download this App to find out!

Do you Snore? Talk in your Sleep?

Find out with Sleep Recorder – a FREE Windows Phone App

Do you snore – or if you talk in your sleep? Does your wife, husband or partner swear that they don’t snore? Sleep Recorder is an interesting Windows Phone app that records audio while you sleep and could help you answer those questions.

As well as recording your sleep cycles, Sleep Recorder also maps out where you’ve spent the night and uploads recordings to the cloud where they can be shared with others. Sleep Recorder is a unique app for your Windows Phone that can not only solve sleep related curiosities but also help identify sleep issues.

There is a free version of Sleep Recorder that is ad-supported in the Windows Phone Store. However if you want to buy a version that is advertisement free, Sleep Recorder Pro is also on the website at a special price of of $0.99 (£0.65).

By John Redfern


Snoring: Noisy nuisance or Health Hazard

If you don’t believe that snoring causes sleep loss, then you’ve probably never had to sleep in the same room as someone who snores. Few things are as detrimental to a good night’s sleep as a partner who sounds like they’re running a chain saw on the other side of the bed.

Doctors estimate that at some time in their lives, up to 50 per cent of all people snore, some regularly and some intermittently. As troubling as it is to be on the receiving end, snoring can cause sleep disturbances and health issues for the snorer, resulting in bigger problems than just a grumpy and very tired bedfellow.

A Noisy Nuisance
Snoring is caused by an obstruction in airflow, usually in the throat. Normally when we breathe, air moves silently, but when the throat and soft palate relax just a bit too much, air forces the tissues to rub together and produce harsh, grating noises. Structural differences between people can account for some snoring; some people who have a long, soft palate, a large uvula, or intact adenoids are more prone to snoring, since their throats are just naturally more obstructed. Temporarily blocked sinuses, caused by a cold or infection, can also be enough of an obstruction to cause temporary snoring that originates in the nose. Many allergy sufferers and those with chronic nasal congestion find that they snore more often when their sinuses are blocked. Snoring can also be caused by a deviated septum.

Relaxed muscles in the throat can contribute to intermittent snoring, too. In younger people, alcohol or sedatives can cause the relaxation, which depress the nervous system and slacken the throat and tongue. Even one’s sleeping position can be a factor. Sleeping on the back is known to prompt the muscle relaxation that causes snoring more often than sleeping on the side or the stomach. Older people can be more prone to snoring as well, since decreased muscle tone is part of the aging process.

One of the largest causes of chronic snoring is sleep apnoea. This condition results in such a severe airway constriction that the lack of oxygen causes the sleeper to wake up, often dozens of times a night. It affects men more often than women, and is found more often in people who are overweight.

Harsh Consequences of Harsh Sounds
Besides a tired and irate partner, snoring can cause health problems. Especially in conjunction with sleep apnoea, snoring can lead to sleep loss or even sleep deprivation. Long-term obstruction of the airways can lead to low blood oxygen levels, which in turn leads to increased blood pressure as the heart pumps more to compensate. All of these result in daytime drowsiness, an inability to concentrate, memory loss, and depression. Another consequence of sleep apnoea is enlargement of the heart, which can lead to heart attacks and stroke. Men with sleep apnoea are also more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction.

Along with being detrimental to health, chronic snoring can also take its toll on relationships. Many couples choose to sleep apart in order to escape one person’s snoring. The noise is involuntary, but it’s very hard for the non-snoring partner not to become upset and resentful at being kept awake. Trying to deal with chronic snoring can leave both parties exhausted, irritable, and reluctant to communicate.

Taking Back the Night
Besides a swift jab of the elbow, there are simple lifestyle changes that can reduce chronic snoring. Since much snoring occurs when we sleep on our backs, learning to sleep on your side can help. Some swear by the old home remedy of sewing tennis balls to the back of a snorer’s pyjamas to prevent them from rolling over onto their backs in the middle of the night. Limiting alcohol intake before bed can also help reduce muscle slackness in the throat and one major way to combat snoring is to lose weight, since being overweight contributes to all the snoring risk factors.

If lifestyle changes don’t help the problem, then a trip to the doctor may be in order. Mouth guards and devices like chinstraps that can be worn at night can help keep the throat in a position that won’t cause snoring.

Snoring may seem like a harmless annoyance, but for the sake of both the snorer and their partner, it’s worth trying to eliminate. particularly to avoid the serious health problems that it can cause.

Act now – for everyone’s sake and for the sake of your health in particular.

By John Redfern


Sleep Deprivation Can Alter Genes

Research in the PNAS Journal indicates that a lack of sleep can have a profound effect on the internal workings of the human body. Studies show that the activity of hundreds of genes were altered when sleep was reduced to less than 6 hours every day in a week.

This news follows the recent developments in the media linking a lack of sleep and regular snoring with cardiovascular issues such a high blood pressure and stroke.

This research however indicated that a lack of sleep can potentially alter genes, particularly after prolonged periods of time.

Researchers at the University of Surrey examined the blood of 26 subjects who had sufficient sleep comparing the results with samples from subjects who had fewer than 6 hours a night (below the recommended amount)

Genes have instructions for building protein, after a lack of sleep the genes that were effected produced a lesser amount which essentially changes the chemistry within the body.

Studies showed that the immune system in particular was affected by the stress caused by lack of sleep, indicating that failing to get the required amount of sleep each night can leave you susceptible to common viruses and the flu.

Professor Colin Smith from the University of Surrey explained:

“Clearly sleep is critical to rebuilding the body and maintaining a functional state, all kinds of damage appear to occur hinting at what may lead to ill health”

Sleep is necessary to replenish and replace new cells. Failing to get the required sleep can have a degenerative effect on the body, leaving it more prone to disease and common viruses.

The link with Snoring

Snoring has been found to be one of the major causes of sleep deprivation particularly for the partners of regular habitual snorers, by cutting out snoring it’s possible to eliminate the negative effect sleep deprivation has on the body.

By Richard Owen


Do you snore heavily? Do you have sleep apnea? Take our simple test – it could save your life.

Sleep disorders are a serious and growing problem. Approximately 25% of men and 10% of women suffer from some form of sleep disorder or other that negatively impacts upon their health. But until now, diagnosis generally required staying overnight at a sleep centre, and the subsequent treatment required wearing a mask-like device attached to a machine pumping air. The treatment is called CPAP – Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.

Sleep disorders can affect the ability of patients, and their partners, to get proper rest, in turn affecting work levels and productivity and also seriously increasing risks of hypertension, stroke, heart failure, diabetes, migraines and depression – let alone cause separation in many cases.

The standard approach to treating sleep disorders is fragmented and can be complicated, requiring patients to visit different centres for diagnosis and treatment. Sleep disorders are very widespread and treatment can greatly improve the lives of sufferers but the success of the treatment used for this type of sleep disorder, often called sleep apnea, is very unpredictable and often not liked by patients.

Over 50% of patients abandon their snoring or sleep apnea treatments due to the hassle in diagnosis and treatment process. It is key to address this problem and SleepPro offers a simple and successful alternative to CPAP with a range of technologically advanced dental mouthpieces that can cure the vast majority of problems for snoring sufferers, as well as manage any mild to moderate sleep apnea condition which should not be ignored.

Unfortunately in the UK many people don’t realize there is a simple successful treatment for snoring readily available that can be fairly straightforward and very effective. The SleepPro product range is NHS Approved and this type of oral device comes highly recommended by both Doctors and Dentists.

Technology for sleep disorders has developed with easier diagnosis now available including home sleep tests and the use of tried and tested treatments such as the simple mouth guard, which is starting to really gain public awareness due to the resultant health improvements.

SleepPro uses the latest advancements in a customized approach developed by physicians and dentists working together to diagnose and treat sleep disorder sufferers. This is a British designed product range that has resulted from many years of Dental and Medical co-operation and analysis and the results speak for themselves. They have a product for everyone.

Check it out for yourself?

Major Risk Groups include, but are not limited to:

  • People who are overweight (Body Mass Index of 25 to 29.9) and obese (Body Mass Index of 30 and above)
  • Men and women with large neck sizes: 17 inches or more for men, 16 inches or more for women
  • Middle-aged and older men, and post-menopausal women
  • Adults and children with Downs Syndrome
  • Children with large tonsils and adenoids
  • Smokers

A possible indicator of sleep apnea is chronic snoring. A physician should evaluate whether sleep apnea is present and if the level is mild, moderate or severe. Patients with sleep apnea often experience sleep deprivation. You may be sleepy during the day and have difficulty concentrating. Other symptoms can be depression, irritability, sexual dysfunction, and learning and memory difficulties.

Take the SleepPro Sleep Apnea Self-Test

Symptoms Checklist • Do you experience one or more?

  • Do you experience daytime sleepiness, no matter how many hours you spend in bed?
  • Do you snore loudly each night?
  • Does your breathing pause periodically while you sleep (10 seconds or longer)?
  • Do you often wake up with a dry mouth or sore throat?
  • Do you go to the bathroom frequently during the night?
  • During the day are you forgetful and have difficulty concentrating?
  • Do you often feel tired, fatigued or sleepy during the daytime?
  • Has anyone observed you stop breathing during sleep?
  • Do you have or are you being treated for high blood pressure?
  • Do you fall asleep at work, on the phone or while driving?
  • Are you prone to moodiness, irritability, or depression?

If you have answered yes to any of the above and your snoring is a problem or you think you may have sleep apnea, make an appointment to see your GP immediately – bearing in mind the risks of not doing so.

Health Risks of sleep apnea can include any of the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Stroke
  • Depression
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Diabetes

One simple step can reduce the risks to your health – even your life.

By John Redfern


Healthy Diet: Healthy Sleep

The link between nutrition and sleeping patterns has been somewhat ambiguous in modern medicine due to the lack of research in the subject, recent research however has intensified the link between a poor diet and poor sleeping patterns.

Research by the Journal Appetite indicate that there is a link between what we eat and how we sleep.

Although many people recognise that what we eat can play a part in our sleeping pattern there has been relatively little research in to what foods can disrupt or benefit our sleep cycles.

Unsurprisingly research has shown that individuals with a healthier diet and lifestyle were more likely to get the appropriate amount of sleep (7-8 hours). Those who had a varied diet, including a sufficient amount of vitamin C (think oranges, broccoli and strawberries) were known to have more consistent sleeping patterns.

Individuals who consumed a lower variety of food were found to have more erratic sleeping patterns. These individuals were either not getting enough sleep (5-6 hours) or too much sleep (more than 9 hours).

Studies show that if you eat a calorific diet consisting of foods with high levels of saturated fat, you’re far more likely to have a shorter sleeping pattern consisting of 5-6 hours, this is below the recommended amount. Shorter sleepers on average had a lower intake of vitamin C and a higher intake of the nutrient ‘choline’ found in fatty meat products.

The study also mentioned that those who consumed a higher intake of alcohol either overslept or slept for a shorter period of time.

The Snoring Link

Fatty foods and alcohol are known to increase your likelihood of snoring, alcohol in particular is known to relax the muscles and soft tissue in your throat which in turn makes you more likely to snore.

Scientific research has established that snoring can play a significant role in disrupting your sleeping pattern.

Conclusion

The worrying aspect of the study is perhaps the fact that individuals who didn’t get the required amount of sleep were more likely to gain weight and suffer from subsequent issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

The study confirms that there is a significant link between our diet, our sleeping pattern and our overall health, evidently the issues are strongly interlinked.

By Richard Owen


Study: Snoring Toddlers

A sleeping baby may be one of nature’s miracles (certainly for the parents) but a baby snoring can be more worrying.

Habitual, loud snoring is something parents should take notice of, particularly if your child is very young, this isn’t considered as a relatively normal feature of a child’s sleeping pattern.

A new study in the Journal of Paediatrics reveals that loud, persistent snoring among toddlers can be a sign of more serious underlying health issues, this kind of snoring has been found to be linked with attention deficit disorders, hyper activity and sleep apnea.

Many parents have noted that snoring has had a negative effect on their child’s behaviour particularly during school hours. Infant snorers have been known to be easily distracted and prone to feeling tired which can effect concentration in school.

Many parents dismiss snoring as a potentially serious issue, what many parents are not aware of is that habitual snoring isn’t part of a child’s development, it’s actually a signal that the child may be suffering from a potentially serious health issue.

Figures say that under 10% of toddlers snore, with the number of louder snorers being less. The stats prove that this isn’t (and shouldn’t be) a regular occurrence.

If parents can identify the problem before it causes more serious difficulties then they can potentially improve a child’s health, behaviour and academic performance.

We don’t advise using a SleepPro product for your child, it’s a safer option to offer them the device if they continue to snore as they reach adulthood. We do advise that you contact a doctor or a sleep specialist if the issue persists.

By Richard Owen


Sleep is the Cornerstone to Good Health – So You Must Stop Snoring

Part Two

Getting good quality sleep every night is imperative to both good physical and mental health. It is often said that restful sleep is the glue that keeps us functioning normally as human beings.

In this article, Sleep and Physical Health, I will describe the four specific consequences of sleep and physical health and my accompanying article will deal with four specific consequences of Sleep and Mental Health.

1. Sleep and Memory – Researchers have found that not getting enough sleep distracts the brain from focusing and being able to retain information. According to accepted authorities there are three parts to “making memories” – the acquisition phase, the consolidation phase, and the recall phase. While the acquisition phase and the recall phase happen while we are awake, it is believe that sleep is required for the consolidation phase of forming memories, or in other words, making facts or episodic-type memories stick. So, keeping late hours and “cramming” for a test as a student may not be the best strategy to performing well with recall. Better to make sure that a restful night of sleep is had before that big test.

2. Sleep and Learning – Similar to sleep and memory, it’s very difficult to learn new facts, ideas, or concepts without having first gotten adequate sleep. An interesting study was done with bees to illustrate the lack of ability to learn appropriately when not getting enough sleep. The bees’ sleep was interfered with, which caused them real difficulty in remembering experiences they had learned a day previous. It is widely accepted that this is the same with humans.

3. Sleep and Moods – All of us have experience the temper and bad mood of someone who has “woken up on the wrong side of the bed”. Lack of sleep causes irritability, and disorientation. Not getting enough sleep can cause individuals to become quite emotional. Sleep deprivation is tied to depression as well. In fact, those who are repeatedly awakened during the R.E.M. sleep state can become very angry. Extended periods of sleep deprivation can even cause hallucinations or delusions and even death in extreme cases, when it was used as part of certain types of ‘cross questioning’. It just makes sense that getting enough sleep can mitigate some of the stresses we face on a daily basis, and help to keep emotions and moods on a more even keel.

4. Sleep and Creativity and Imagination – Having good quality sleep on a consistent basis does lend itself to better creativity and imagination. The phrase “sleep on it” is actually very sound advice. During sleep our subconscious can go to work to help us solve problems. Often dreams can provide insight that we hadn’t considered during waking hours. Dreams are often the product of our imaginations, wrapped together with portions of true experience. There is an interesting BBC article covering notable examples of “dream discoveries”. Get your sleep and create something wonderful! Look out for it soon in our March Newsletter – 5 Dream Discoveries.

Some of the reasons for sleep are plain common sense, while others have yet to be discovered. For now though, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night (for adults) is the best recipe for good, sustainable health and longevity.

As we know of course, most disturbed nights are caused by someone snoring – both partners actually having a disturbed night, but for different reasons. This is so easy to prevent and with little cost. A range of NHS approved remedies from SleepPro, such as their high quality but inexpensive mouthpieces will soon solve the problem. They have a record of working well, do it quickly and are a low cost solution that is readily and quickly available without prescription.

However make sure that you keep in touch with your GP or local Clinic because they’ll give you good advice on how to stop snoring and check out if it’s caused you any health problems.
By John Redfern


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