Snoring can shorten your lifespan – and many pension providers will pay you extra if you are a known sufferer with sleep apnoea

Lots of people snore. Maybe you do. Perhaps your spouse lies hopelessly awake at night praying some miracle will just shut you up for a second. Sound familiar? It does to me too, and we hear it often, but you may not realise that snoring often precedes several serious health conditions.

Businessman Brainstorming About Retirement Planning

Snoring might not strike you as grounds for a lifetime pay increase at retirement but heavy snoring could in some cases boost income by up to 24%. Heavy snoring can be a sign someone suffers from a condition called sleep apnoea or OSA and sufferers don’t just snore; they also stop breathing for short periods during sleep, which can have serious health implications.

According to Hargreaves Lansdowne, one of the UK’s leading pension advisers, some enhanced annuity providers are willing to pay a higher annuity income to someone with sleep apnoea. In their research, a man aged 65 could boost his pension annuity by up to £586 a year, by declaring his sleep apnoea together with just his height, weight and other personal details. This means more income for life – in other words a lifetime pay rise.

A better result however is to stop snoring through the use of a simple and inexpensive oral appliance – and as a consequence to live much longer. They are NHS Approved and recommended and don’t need a prescription or even for you to make a trip to your GP – they are available online.

The most important thing to understand is that snoring is a symptom. It is not normal, and it’s got very specific causes. There are many causes, including a weak jaw, congestion, excessive fat in the throat, weakness of the neck muscles and above all being overweight which is hard to avoid as we age.

Among the most common and most dangerous causes of snoring is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). It is seen most frequently in middle-aged men with heavy-set necks and shoulders, although anyone can have it and It occurs when the tongue and soft palate relax enough to make contact with the back of the throat, restricting airflow or stopping it completely.

And that’s the worrying part because sometimes OSA causes breathing to stop completely, which, if untreated, can cause major health problems.

When OSA causes breathing to stop, it’s called an ‘apneic event’ and this exerts stress on the heart, and the cumulative effect of lots of these events increases the risk of heart conditions. For instance, OSA patients are 30% more likely to have a heart attack and have greater risk of congestive heart failure due to pulmonary pressure build-up in the right side of the heart.

Hypertension

OSA is one cause of high blood pressure and when breathing stops during sleep, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure spike, which keeps blood pressure elevated throughout the night. This causes a very dangerous form of hypertension. Most people who suffer from hypertension get a bit of relief at night because their blood pressure falls whereas chronic snorers often experience high blood pressure for the entire 24 hours of the day.

Stroke

In men, OSA can increase the risk of stroke by almost 300%. But more importantly, this isn’t just seen in all the severe cases as you can be at greater risk even if you have moderate sleep apnea.

The Real Danger

The real danger of snoring is that obstructive Sleep Apnea often goes completely undiagnosed, so many people don’t know they’re at risk.
This is because the symptoms of OSA occur during sleep, and lots of people, especially those who don’t share a bed with anyone else, don’t even know they snore. Further, people tend to view snoring as something amusing. So, if you’re not sure if you snore, here are a few other symptoms to watch out for:

  • Excessive fatigue during the day
  • Restless sleep
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Being confused in the morning
  • Heart burn
  • Sore or dry throat

All in all, snoring seems harmless but it interfere with your overall health. The good news is that snoring can easily be stopped, and OSA can be treated successfully, easily, and inexpensively, by using a simple oral appliance.

 

John Redfern


Snoring and other sleep disorders cause a huge increase in Type 2 Diabetes

For far too many adults the idea of a good night’s sleep is just that – an idea. According to a poll from the National Sleep Foundation, the average person is sleeping 6 hours and 40 minutes on workdays, and an average of 7 hours and 25 minutes on other days. The numbers are a far cry from the average of 8 hours and 40 minutes per night that adults reported sleeping in the 1960s, and the health consequences of those lost hours can be dramatic, and may even be life-threatening.

Diabetes Just Ahead Green Road Sign with Dramatic Clouds, Sun Rays and Sky.

Sleep disturbances are very common in endocrine disorders, particularly in metabolic disorders. Sleep restriction, or poor quality sleep, is now widely recognized as a risk factor for both obesity and type 2 diabetes. Untreated sleep disorders like snoring and sleep apnoea can exacerbate both diseases.

The consequences of chronic sleep loss can go far beyond simply feeling tired and research clearly shows that it produces a large increase in glucose sensitivity increasing the risk of diabetes.

UK Health News, along with many national newspapers this week reported that the number of people with diabetes in the UK has soared by 59.8% in a decade, according to a new analysis. Using official NHS data, the charity Diabetes UK says there are now more than 3.3 million people who have been diagnosed with diabetes – an increase of 1.2 million adults compared with 10 years ago when there were just over 2 million people with the condition.

Diabetes UK is warning that this “exponential growth” in the numbers of people with diabetes underlines the urgent need for prevention before the sheer numbers of people with the disease overwhelms our health service resources.

It is also calling for better care and treatment for those who have already been diagnosed with this serious condition. Poorly managed diabetes can lead to devastating and expensive health complications such as kidney disease, stroke, blindness and amputations.

If we take steps to stop or prevent snoring, and control sleep apnea, we have hit the basis of the problem and it will go a long way to preventing type 2 diabetes, along with many other health problems.

Diabetes now uses 10% of NHS drugs bill

Diabetes now accounts for 10% of the NHS drugs bill in England, according to official figures and the latest Health and Social Care Information Centre report shows that £869m was spent on drugs for the disease last year which marks a sharp rise from the £514m being spent on the drugs a decade ago, when they accounted for just 6.6% of the prescriptions budget.

The figures include drugs for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes which affect 2.8 million people in England alone. It includes insulin, metformin and other anti-diabetic drugs.

Ian Bullard, who wrote the report, said: “It shows that 10p in the pound of the primary care prescribing bill in England alone is being spent on managing diabetes. Diabetes continues to be one of the most prevalent long-term conditions, and the number of patients being diagnosed with the condition is increasing each year.”

Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, says: “Over the past decade, the number of people living with diabetes in the UK has increased by over 1 million people. With a record number of people now living with diabetes in the UK, there is no time to waste and the government must act now.

“Diabetes already costs the NHS nearly £10 billion a year, and 80% of this is spent on managing avoidable complications. So there is huge potential to save money and reduce pressure on NHS hospitals and services through providing better care to prevent people with diabetes from developing devastating and costly complications.

Educating the public is vital as to how they can prevent the onset of diabetes and other conditions. Now is the time for action. In addition Diabetes UK stresses that the NHS must prioritise better care and ensure that the public know what steps to take to prevent this.

Martin McShane, from NHS England, said: “These figures are a stark warning and reveal the increasing cost of diabetes. “We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, it’s time to get serious about lifestyle change.”

Improving sleep, stopping snoring, controlling sleep apnoea and eating more healthily combined with losing weight are all key factors in the process.

 

John Redfern


Sleep apnoea treatment using bespoke oral appliances significantly reduces high blood pressure problems

Hypertension, which is usually referred to as high blood pressure, is one of the most common medical conditions to exist today, and it is probably the most widely treated. In more than 90% of cases, the cause of high blood pressure is unknown but several factors can increase your risk of developing the condition, including age, obesity, high alcohol intake, smoking and a lack of exerciObstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has close links to hypertension and research done recently in France has revealed that one very popular sleep apnoea treatment can help reduce blood pressure levels in patients with high blood pressure, and do it while they sleep.

Doctor checking blood pressure of his patient

Fatigue, daytime sleepiness and moodiness are all well-known side effects of a bad night’s sleep, the direct result of OSA, but many patients don’t realise that serious sleep problems can affect not only mood and energy levels, but physical health, as well. Raised blood pressure is a prime example of this.

Published as a research abstract in the Journal of Dental Sleep Medicine, the study monitored 299 patients with sleep apnoea, including 77 who also had high blood pressure. This took place over nine months while they used an oral appliance, a “mouth guard-like” device made to custom fit by a specialist approved company and worn during sleep to maintain an open, unobstructed airway. The researchers analysed the treatment’s effect on patients’ oxygen levels, sleep apnoea symptoms and overall quality of life.

Ultimately, the study found that oral appliance therapy using this kind of mouthpiece significantly lowered the systolic and diastolic blood pressure of patients with arterial hypertension. In 59%of these patients, blood pressure was normalised by using an oral appliance to treat sleep apnoea.

This is important news for patients struggling with sleep apnoea because oral appliances are often found to be more comfortable and easier to wear every night than the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask traditionally used to treat sleep apnoea. A CPAP machine sends a flow of air through tubing and a mask to keep the airway open and patients breathing. While it is highly effective at treating sleep apnoea, up to 50% of patients do not continue to use CPAP treatment long-term because they find it dries the mouth and it is both uncomfortable and oppressive.

If a patient is unwilling or unable to wear their CPAP nightly, they are most likely to be a prime candidate for oral appliance therapy. Custom-fitted by an NHS Approved specialist who works hand-in-hand with a sleep physician, oral appliances hold the lower jaw forward and keep the airway open. Oral appliances are silent, easy to travel with and proven effective, especially for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnoea.

The main example of this in the UK is the NHS Approved SleepPro Custom that has been rigorously tested by the Sleep Specialist team at the world-renowned Papworth Hospital in Britain, where they listed it as the number one choice to control mild to moderate OSA>

Sleep apnoea and high blood pressure are commonly tied together, and it’s important for snorers, and their families to be aware that untreated sleep apnoea is a potentially life-threatening condition. It can increase the risk for serious health problems from congestive heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease to diabetes, obesity, depression and impotence.

SleepPro Custom is the leading NHS Approved appliance for heavier snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnoea, so if you, or another family member suffers from this health problem, then it’s important to start to control it as early as possible.

John Redfern


How will a Chin Support Strap help me to stop snoring?

For those who are not sure of what a chin support strap is, it is a one-piece band of flexible material that fits over the head and keeps the mouth closed whilst you’re sleeping. It fits comfortably over the top of the head and under the jaw and it adjusts easily to the best and most acceptable position – in fact, after a while, users say that it’s hardly noticed.

Overweight Woman Asleep In Bed Snoring

The chin support strap is the simplest, cost effective way to prevent snoring and is the perfect snoring treatment for open-mouthed snorers as it makes sure that the snorer’s mouth remains shut during sleep. This device offers an instant cure for most snorers, and being fully adjustable, it can even be worn by more than one person if required.

Despite the low cost, it is a long-lasting item, and importantly it is easy to keep clean. It can be either hand or machine-washed – but many people order two for both convenience and hygiene reasons. The low price makes this easily affordable, particularly compared to the heavy price you can pay for snoring with regards to both relationships and matters of health.

Another benefit to the snorer is that it vastly reduces the problem of having a dry mouth due to open-mouthed snoring, which is a common problem for this type of snorer and most uncomfortable as a side effect. It can work for you all on its own, as can a mouthpiece, but many heavier snorers wear a combination of both of these items for maximum effectiveness.

Chin Support Strap Benefits

  • It’s an easy solution that has a pretty good record of effectiveness.
  • It works immediately if it’s going to – straight away on the first night
  • It might be the preferred option if a mouthpiece is not for you
  • It can bridge the gap while you deal with the real problem, perhaps by slow weight loss or any other adjustment of your personal lifestyle
  • It gives you time to investigate other causes and solutions
  • It is very inexpensive

If, after using the chin support strap, the problem still continues, then try combining this item with an oral appliance; again inexpensive and bringing rapid results to help you stop snoring. Many people who snore particularly heavily have found that the combination of the two brings immediate relief.

Snoring is a major lifestyle and health problem for many people today and it can also cause the serious medical condition that is called sleep apnea. Furthermore, it gives a great deal of stress to the sufferer and also to those individuals who live with him or her. The chin support strap has been responsible for many problems of this nature being resolved. For your reassurance, it is widely accepted by the medical profession and is being widely used, along with oral appliances, by Hospitals, Sleep Clinics and Medical Centres throughout the world.

In essence, it is comfortable, lightweight, and highly adjustable so it will fit perfectly for any size. Most importantly it’s highly effective. By using it regularly, you will automatically adapt to taking your rest without opening your mouth. This product can provide a good night’s rest for you – and also your family. You may not need to use this device forever because once you get used to sleeping with your mouth closed and only breathing through your nose, you may not need to put it on anymore.

The expert’s verdict

Dr Tom McKay, consultant respiratory physician at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary Sleep Centre, is sceptical of many of the treatments available today. ‘Nasal strips don’t work. Operations have very limited success rates’.

‘Sprays don’t have any great effect although nasal steroids have a small role if you’ve got nasal congestion. It can help if you lose weight or avoid alcohol last thing at night, or start to sleep lying on your side. Various forms of NHS recommended mouthpieces or chin straps are successful.’

The result is an excellent night’s sleep and no snoring.

John Redfern


Children • Snoring and some of the consequences

Most children snore occasionally and roughly 10% of them snore most nights. It occurs when they breathe in but there is a blockage of the air passing through the back of the mouth and it causes vibration of the throat tissues.

Three pupils in classroom, one of them sleeping

Sometimes snoring is a sign of a respiratory infection, a stuffy nose or allergy but at other times it may be a bigger problem.

Amongst the contributing factors to snoring may be obesity, allergies, asthma, reflux disorder, or even an abnormality in the structure of the jaw. In children, the most common problem associated with snoring is large tonsils. Young children’s tonsils are quite large in comparison to the throat, peaking at 5-7 years of age. These block the airway, making it difficult to breathe.

As many as 3% of children not only snore, but also suffer from breathing problems during their sleep. When snoring is accompanied by gasps or pauses in breathing, the child may have OSA – obstructive sleep apnoea.

Children’s muscles normally relax during sleep and can become so relaxed that the airway is narrowed and sufficient air cannot pass through causing a pause in breathing that can last a few seconds or as long as a minute. The brain is then alerted and signals the body to start breathing again. This results in the child gasping or snorting, waking up and starting to breathe again. Because of these repeated interruptions, the child may not get enough quality sleep and is likely to be sleepy or overtired during the day.

Undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnoea may contribute to daytime sleepiness and behavioural problems including difficulties at school. In one recent study, children who snored loudly were twice as likely to have learning problems. Following a night of poor sleep, children are also more likely to be hyperactive and have difficulty paying attention. These are also signs of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Sleep apnoea may also be associated with delayed growth and cardiovascular problems.

During the night, children with sleep apnoea may:

  • Snore loudly and on a regular basis
  • Have pauses, gasps, and snorts and actually stop breathing.  The snorts or gasps may waken them and disrupt their sleep.
  • Be restless or sleep in abnormal positions
  • Sweat heavily during sleep

During the day, children with sleep apnoea may:

  • Have behavioural, school and social problems
  • Be difficult to wake up
  • Have headaches during the day, but especially in the morning
  • Be irritable, agitated, aggressive, and difficult
  • Be so sleepy during the day that they fall asleep or daydream

The problem is the same throughout the developed world where accurate figures are available. According to US Government Health Statistics, over quarter of a million children in the U.S.A. have tonsillectomies each year and sleep apnoea is one of the major reasons for this.

In Australia, extensive work has been done by The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, where there is a specialist children’s Sleep Unit. The problem is growing, mostly due to increased obesity, and they currently estimate that about 20 Australian children in every 100 will snore. OSA is less common and runs to about two to three children in every 100.

They state that children who have had surgery to remove their tonsils and adenoids may still need to return to the Sleep Unit afterwards. Most of the children will be cured by the surgery, but a few may still snore or have difficulty breathing when they are asleep.

A home sleep study run by Monash Health’s Melbourne’s Children’s Sleep Centre, is also testing whether children with simple snoring – but are not severe enough to have their tonsils or adenoids removed – have the potential to learn, but this is disrupted due to tiredness.

The figures in the UK are much higher, with 80% of 5 year olds now classed as overweight, which will often mean that they will be overweight as teens and adults too. As a result, it has been recommended that GP’s send them on lifestyle and weight management programmes run by local authorities.

Family members and Carers will also be encouraged to attend regardless of their own weight, as they have an important role and responsibility in influencing the environment in which children and young people live.

John Redfern


Poor sleep linked to cancer – Shift workers are particularly warned.

In a week when the daily press headlines were full of a major treatment breakthrough by the University of Sheffield for the prevention of breast cancer, other information that was published by the BBC, referring to new reports that state disturbed sleep patterns to be one of the key causes.

offline beauty woman sleep on the pillow

Irregular sleeping patterns have been “unequivocally” shown to lead to cancer in tests on animals, a study suggests and the report, published in Current Biology, lends weight to these concerns about the damaging impact of shift work on health.

The researchers said women with a family risk of breast cancer should never work shifts, but cautioned that further tests in people were needed.

Studies in people have often suggested a higher risk of diseases such as breast cancer in shift workers and flight attendants.

One argument is disrupting the body’s internal rhythm – or body clock – increases the risk of disease.  However, the link is uncertain because the type of person who works shifts may also be more likely to develop cancer due to factors such as social class, activity levels or the amount of vitamin D they get.

Mice prone to developing breast cancer had their body clock delayed by 12 hours every week for a year. Normally they had tumours after 50 weeks – but with regular disruption to their sleeping patterns, the tumours appeared eight weeks earlier.

The report said: “This is the first study that unequivocally shows a link between chronic light-dark inversions and breast cancer development.”

Interpreting the consequences for humans is fraught with difficulty, but the researchers guesstimated the equivalent effect could be an extra 10kg (1st 8lb) of body weight or for at-risk women getting cancer about five years earlier.

“If you have a situation where a family is at risk for breast cancer, I would certainly advise those people not to work as a flight attendant or to do shift work,” one of the researchers from the Erasmus University Medical Centre, in the Netherlands, said.

Dr Michael Hastings, from the UK’s Medical Research Council, told the BBC: “I consider this study to give the definitive experimental proof that circadian [body clock] disruption can accelerate the development of breast cancer.

“The general public health message coming out of my area of work is shift work, particularly rotational shift work, is a major area o stress and therefore it has far-reaching consequences.

“There are things people should be looking out for – such as paying more attention to your body weight, paying more attention to inspecting breasts, and employers should offer more in-work health checks for their staff. They should try to eliminate problems such as snoring by using an oral appliance.

The data also indicated the animals were 20% heavier despite eating the same amount of food. Being overweight is known to be a key factor. A clear indication of weight gain is always snoring as the tissue tends to close the throat and make the passage of the airflow constricted, resulting in the sound we all know so well, and constantly hear more of.

This is of particular concern at the moment when so much new information is coming to our attention on weight gain – particularly amongst the young. More than a third of overweight or obese teenagers don’t think they are too heavy and consider their weight to be about right, according to a study. Cancer experts say the findings are worrying because carrying excess weight increases the chance of developing many cancers.

Other reports show that many are binge eaters, and also have a sugar intake that is far too high – both of which exacerbate the problem. As a consequence more and more teenagers snore – yet they or their parents do nothing about it when simple solutions are there to help them.

Of course the key solutions are healthier diet and more exercise, but it’s also important to restrict the damage being done by restriction of oxygen due to being overweight.

Use of a simple oral appliance, similar to a sports gum-shield, or even using a Chin Strap, both of which can be worn comfortably when sleeping, will stop most people snoring immediately, and prevent this early damage to health until weight is under control.

John Redfern.


Don’t ignore the sound of snoring – it’s the fire alarm for your health.

Snoring is now at world epidemic levels, with about 4 in 10 men and 3 in 10 women being affected and it’s often related to obesity and weight gain. It’s a true worldwide problem and affects all the major nations. When your throat narrows due to weight gain, then airflow is restricted and you snore.

Fitness Instructor Addressing Overweight People At Diet Club

Untreated snoring can lead to many serious health problems, such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems, hypertension, depression, chronic fatigue, cancer, earlier onset of memory loss, and major liver damage. The worse cases of snoring develop into obstructive sleep apnoea, (OSA) and as an example of this, 34% of men and 17% of women in the USA alone suffer from obstructive sleep apnea in all its possible degrees of severity.

Not only that, but the United States is home to the highest proportion of the world’s obese people, at 13 per cent. Similar weight-related problem exists worldwide. Numerically, more than 50 per cent of the world’s 671 million obese people live in 10 countries: the United States, China, India, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, Germany, Pakistan and Indonesia.

Even in countries such as Australia which projects an image of being a health-conscious, fitness-oriented, sports loving nation – the problem exists. But experts say that Australia’s unprecedented affluence along with a culture of convenience foods, growing portion sizes and an increasingly sedentary life-style have made one in two Australians overweight and turned the country into one of the fattest in the world.

Worse still, while studies show that obesity rates in other developed countries like the US have begun to level off, those of Australia are still rising. Last year, it climbed to 4th in the ranking of advanced nations with the largest proportion of obese citizens at 28.3%, behind the USA, Mexico and New Zealand.

A spokesperson for the Australian Department of Health, says the government has already committed A$932m to initiatives and media campaigns targeting health education and promoting healthy choices. The government has also updated physical activity and dietary guidelines. Initiatives are also taking place at state level, like in New South Wales – where officials say obesity costs the state approximately A$20bn every year. With nearly 11 million overweight Australians and obesity-related diseases on the rise, perhaps even more serious measures are needed before it gets worse.

Exactly the same problems exist in the UK and press focus this week has been very much on the subject – particularly amongst children of all ages, and the amount of their sugar intake from soft drinks and other products.

University College London researchers looked at data from more than 56,000 people born in Britain since the end of WW2 and found a clear shift over time, with obesity becoming more common and starting earlier in life. Obese children often go on to be obese adults, carrying with them an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.

The first, post-War male babies did not become overweight until they hit the age of 40, on average, the report said – but the next two generations of men got fatter younger, at a median age of 33 and 30, respectively.

The trend was the same for women. By the third generation babies born in the 1970s, the median age for becoming overweight was 41, compared with 48 for those born in 1946 and 44 for those born in 1958.

By the fourth generation, obesity was becoming common in childhood.
Children born since the 1980s were up to three times more likely than older generations to be overweight or obese by the age of 10, and latest figures for England suggest a fifth of children joining primary school are now obese or overweight at age 5.

A spokesman for Public Health England, said: “Evidence shows children of obese parents are much more likely to have weight problems, which is a major concern when almost two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese.

“Almost one in 10 children aged 5 are obese – but what’s worse is that by the time they reach 11, this doubles to nearly one in five.” “Obese children are more likely to experience bullying, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression and have a higher risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.” Teenagers are not easily directed and it was clear that the 11- to 15-year-olds were the most vulnerable and difficult group.

The UK government has already launched a number of initiatives to help people eat more healthily and be more active, and others are planned, as it is already costing the NHS £billions per year.

John Redfern


Taking good care of your SleepPro mouthpiece brings benefits

Summer is here at last but it has its downside too. The hot, humid weather made for uncomfortable nights but they also need you take more care with hygiene as germs breed more rapidly when it’s hot.

Human holding toothbrush in water

It’s important to keep your mouthpiece clean and free of germs. SleepPro oral appliances are made from the same base material and can be cleaned in exactly the same way.

When you wake up, remove your SleepPro and wash it thoroughly in clean water – hold it under the running tap and wash it gently but make sure that the water is only lukewarm– and afterwards try using a toothbrush to help remove any deposits within the teeth imprints. However do NOT try to use toothpaste to clean your SleepPro as this will score the surface of the mouthpiece and make it more susceptible to staining in the future.

After cleaning in this way, a brief soak in mouthwash or using a denture cleaner will help to keep it fresh, but be careful what you use as over time, some of the chemicals in those products may degrade the plastic and reduce it’s life expectancy. Our own tablets, Fresh & Clean are specially formulated not to do this, and are available in packs of 20 for very little cost.

Fresh & Clean have been specially formulated to gently clean your SleepPro appliance and to leave it tasting minty fresh. They have been well tested and they do not accelerate the degrading of the appliance like some of the over the counter products – particularly the cheaper ones. They’ll remove any stubborn stains that remain.

Use them daily for the best results and a refreshing minty taste.

Keep your teeth and gums healthy and for that it’s always recommended that you:

  • Brush your teeth well last thing at night with fluoride toothpaste before using your SleepPro mouthpiece
  • Clean in between your teeth with ‘interdental’ brushes or floss – as brushing alone only cleans about 60 per cent of the tooth surface
  • Use a mouthwash that contains antibacterial ingredients to help prevent gum disease, and contains fluoride to help prevent decay.

Then follow the morning routine as previously described o keep your SleepPro mouthpiece in the very best condition.

Don’t forget that you can now protect yourself even more from stubborn oral germs – particularly in the very hot weather we’re having, and even more so if you’re heading for holidays in a hot climate.

Easifit and Custom are the two leading NHS Approved appliances from SleepPro and both are now available in AM versions – meaning that they are anti-microbial due to added special polymer that will kill any bug that contacts their surface. The AM version is in both cases only £10 extra so it’s well worth paying.

This new AM technology will not only make your SleepPro mouthpiece much more hygienic, but it will keep it fresher for longer, as well as protecting both the surface of the appliance and also help to preserve a good comfortable fit.  It will provide long-lasting hygienic protection by creating a surface barrier upon which microbes cannot survive and will also extend the lifetime of the product as well as helping to safeguard your teeth.

They’re fully approved by the NHS who regularly issue them direct to snoring and sleep apnoea sufferers in many hospitals – and as well as stopping you from snoring, they’ll now protect you from most germs and infections. Don’t forget that a weekly soak in Fresh & Clean will keep them at their best.

John Redfern


How to sleep better in hot weather

people, family, bedtime and insomnia concept - unhappy woman having sleepless night with sleeping and snoring man in bed at home

Britain has experienced a mini heat wave this week so what’s the best way to get to sleep on those dreadfully sticky nights?

The hot, humid weather across most parts of Britain has made for some very uncomfortable nights. The Met Office says temperatures will now fall slightly across the next few weeks but humidity will remain fairly high at 60-80%.

“As a species, we are diurnal,” says Dr Malcolm von Schantz, a molecular neuroscientist at the University of Surrey’s Sleep Centre. “We have evolved to be able to sleep in a consolidated way during the night, when it is cooler and darker. Too cold or too hot temperatures during the night act as a natural alarm clock.

Humidity is a big part of the problem, making it hard for sweat to evaporate. For many, getting to sleep will have been sweaty and uncomfortable, closer to the climate people associate more with Bangkok than Bangor, either in Northern Ireland or Wales.

Add to that the common congestion problems of one sort or another that are caused by hot, humid weather, and many people, even when they do sleep, will begin to snore loudly with their partners suffering in the process.

Women are known to need more sleep than men although men often sleep better, and when you start to dig into the facts about men and women’s respective sleep habits it’s startling just how badly women fare when it comes to shut-eye. Dr Jim Horne, who is the Director of Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University, says that women need an extra 20 minutes of sleep a day compared to men.

He says that in part this is because women use their brains more during the day. As one of the key functions of sleep is to allow the brain to rest and repair, all of that extra multitasking means women need to sleep more. In fact, women lose out in nearly all of the major sleep-related conditions.

Insomnia?  According to the National Sleep Federation, 63% of women experience it a few times a week, compared to 54% of men.
Pain during sleep?  58% of women said that pain interrupted their sleep at least three nights per week, compared to 48% of men.

Sleep apnoea? This is the only sleep condition where men ‘excel’ over women with men being twice as likely to suffer. However, some researchers have suggested that the condition may simply present differently in women and actually be just as much of an issue for them as men.

In places like the USA, where powerful air conditioning units are reasonably common in houses and apartments in hot and humid areas, it’s not so much of a concern. But in places like the UK where it’s hot and humid much less frequently how should people ensure they get a good night’s sleep?

An technique that is often used in Mediterranean countries, is to make sure that all the blinds or curtains are closed during the daytime to stop the sun coming in. Leave the windows open on the shady side and closed on the sunny side and change them over when it’s necessary. Then, an hour before going to bed, open all the windows to get a through breeze.

But not everyone has the luxury of being able to throw open windows, as it may not be safe. Bungalows, ground floor flats and basements can be vulnerable to burglary. Others may worry about insect bites, particularly now there are so many mosquitoes to be found in the UK.

In this case, the most sensible option is to use an electric fan, recommends Mary Morrell, Professor of Sleep and Respiratory Physiology at Imperial College in London. ” Air flow is very important and it will help move the air around your body and increase the chance of sweat evaporating.”

She also recommends thin cotton sheets rather than nylon bedding. They will absorb sweat rather than leave the sleeper covered in a film of moisture.

Insects are unlikely to bother people in cities, she believes. But for those in the countryside with the windows open, a mosquito net is one possible solution. Hot days also mean we get into bed in a different physical and mental state. Often people have drunk more alcohol than usual and that is never a good idea, particularly as it makes snoring much worse. Alcohol is pretty good at putting you to sleep but pretty awful at keeping you asleep.

Solving the snoring problem is easy however, and of course it’s not confined to just hot weather; it happens all the time. Once again good airflow is the solution and easily achieved with a simple oral appliance.

John Redfern.


Snoring during pregnancy is dangerous for Mother and baby.

You’re prepared for the morning sickness, weight gain and insomnia but the one side effect of pregnancy that you may not expect is snoring.

Photo of beautiful pregnant woman sleeping in bed

According to the very latest research, more and more women are snoring, often due to weight gain, and of course pregnancy brings the same result. In fact, more than 50 per cent of pregnant women are overweight or obese, according to the latest official survey statistics.

Studies show that between 25 and 30 per cent of women snore during pregnancy. In fact, a study in the journal SLEEP found that 35 per cent of women reported snoring 3 to 4 times a week, or even every single day. Plus, 26 per cent of women only started to snore during their pregnancies.

In the past 30 years however, snoring rates are higher than ever, mostly due to women starting their pregnancy overweight or gaining too much during the nine months. The extra tissue around the neck is what leads to snoring.

What causes snoring during pregnancy

Snoring always happens when the upper airways relax and partially close, making it more difficult to get enough air through the mouth and the nose and there are several reasons why snoring is common during pregnancy.

For starters, as your uterus and baby grow and press on your diaphragm, it’s inevitable that it will be much harder to breathe, whether you’re sitting on the couch, working out or sleeping.

Higher levels of hormones, particularly oestrogen, cause the mucus membranes and nasal passages to swell, too. Plus, your blood volume increases by 50 per cent, which expands the blood vessels and also causes the nasal membranes to swell.

What are the risks to Mum and her baby

Although you might choose to dismiss it because it’s temporary, or even laugh it off as an amusing interlude, the reality is that snoring during pregnancy is no laughing matter for a number of reasons.

  • Women who snore during pregnancy have an increased risk for high blood pressure, fatigue, preeclampsia, and having smaller babies.
  • Pregnant women with high blood pressure who also snore have an increased risk for obstructive sleep apnoea, which affects up to one-third of women during the last months of pregnancy, a study in the journal BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology found.
  • Pregnant women who snore are also more likely to have a caesarean section and those who develop it pregnancy have an increased risk of having an emergency C-section, the same SLEEP study found.
  • Another concern is gestational diabetes, which, according to the CDC, affects up to 9.2 per cent of women. That’s because when you’re not able to get enough oxygen, it alters your glucose metabolism.
  • Pregnancy during snoring has also been linked to causing depression during pregnancy and postpartum depression

How to protect Mum and baby

The most important thing you need to do is recognise the signs early on.

Ask your partner if you snore, or stop breathing momentarily during the night or gasp for air. If you snore more than three nights a week and you also have high blood pressure, it’s likely that you also have obstructive sleep apnoea and you need to act on that. Although it’s common to feel tired during pregnancy, daytime sleepiness and extreme fatigue are strong indicators that you snore.

It’s important to be able to increase the quality of your breathing and maintain the supply of oxygen to your brain, and this can be done quite easily. By wearing a simple mouthpiece called a mandibular adjustment device, or MAD, the jaw is repositioned temporarily in a more forward position. The effect of this is to open the throat, which due to weight gain has been obstructed, and this improves breathing and stops the snoring at the same time,

NHS Approved mouthpieces are easily available online for a very small cost and companies such as SleepPro even have one that has been developed specially for women with this and their general snoring problems in mind. SleepPro Woman can be shaped to fit your mouth in seconds and is comfortable and easy to wear. It also has a measured 98% success rate and a money back satisfaction guarantee.

If your problem is sleep apnoea, then the SleepPro Custom is NHS recommended.

John Redfern