Sleep apnoea is a real danger to everyone and makes no exceptions

This was clearly shown on Friday evening when an announcement from the Los Angeles medical examiner’s office on Carrie Fisher’s cause of death raised the possibility of a lethal interplay of sleep apnoea, drug use and heart disease.

Star Wars - Carrie Fisher

Photograph of Carrie Fisher in Star Wars supplied for incorporation by Rex Features

Carrie Fisher was a well-known Hollywood actress and author who rose to fame in Star Wars playing one of the leading roles as Princess Leia. She collapsed on December 23rd on an 11-hour flight from London to Los Angeles and she died a few days later on December 27th.

In January, the medical examiner initially listed the cause of death as cardiac arrest, which is often confused with a heart attack. While a heart attack is a common cause of cardiac arrest, they are not the same thing. A heart attack occurs when a blockage stops blood flow to the heart, while a cardiac arrest, the sudden stoppage of the heart, is caused by a serious malfunction of the heart’s electrical system.

On Friday The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner said the cause of death was clearly caused by “sleep apnoea and other undetermined factors.”

Other findings in the autopsy included atherosclerotic heart disease and the use of multiple drugs, although the significance of the latter isn’t fully known, according to the announcement, which noted that the manner of Fisher’s death has been ruled “undetermined.”

The Greek word “apnea” means “without breath.” People with sleep apnoea stop breathing repeatedly during sleep, sometimes as often as 30 times an hour or more, for a few seconds to more than a minute each time. Most people who have it don’t know it, since the two main signs snoring, and snorting when breathing resumes, both occur during sleep although not everyone who snores has sleep apnoea.

A family member or bed partner is often the first to notice the signs, according to the National Hear, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in the USA. Other signs include headaches or a dry mouth upon awakening; daytime sleepiness; an inability to concentrate; feeling irritable or depressed or having mood swings and waking up frequently to urinate, the NHLBI says.

The medical examiner did not specify what type of sleep apnoea Fisher had. Obstructive sleep apnoea, in which the upper airway collapses or becomes blocked repeatedly during sleep, is the more common, affecting an estimated 9% of women and 17% of men 50 and older, but fewer people younger than 50, according to the Heart Association. In central sleep apnoea, which is often related to certain medical conditions or medications, the airway isn’t blocked, but the brain fails to properly signal the breathing muscles. Snoring isn’t typically associated with central sleep apnoea but some people have both obstructive and central sleep apnoea.

If not diagnosed and treated, sleep apnoea can lead to serious, potentially fatal health problems. Population-based studies show that people with obstructive sleep apnoea have a significantly greater risk of heart arrhythmias, which can trigger sudden cardiac arrest, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, heart failure, high blood pressure, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, among other conditions according to the Heart Association.

Medication isn’t usually used to treat sleep apnoea, but the NHLBI lists several methods that can help open your airway while you sleep:

  • Being overweight or obese is the most common cause of obstructive sleep apnoea, so sometimes losing weight stops apnoea episodes.
  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Sleep on your side instead of your back.
  • If lifestyle changes aren’t enough, a custom-fitted mouthpiece made by a medically approved specialist can adjust your lower jaw and tongue to keep your airway open.
  • For moderate to severe sleep apnoea, a “continuous positive airway pressure,” or “CPAP” machine is often used. The CPAP machine blows air into your throat while you sleep, helping to keep your airway open.

NHLBI Statements are used courtesy of Forbes Media, New York.

John Redfern


Untreated Sleep Apnoea Could Cut 10 To 20 Years Off Your Life

The body and mind need sleep in order to function properly. Sleep apnoea, or constantly stopping and starting breathing at night, is one of the things holding millions of people back from sleeping properly.

Sleep Apnea

It often goes undiagnosed, but it comes with surprisingly apparent symptoms that can significantly worsen your quality of life and also shorten it.

If you look at some of the most commonly treated conditions in any country of the world right now such as high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, anxiety, depression, and headaches – all of these can be medically associated with an obstructed airway.

Doctors say a healthier lifestyle including proper diet, exercise and weight loss can prevent sleep apnoea from occurring. However, if you’re experiencing multiple symptoms, you should speak with your physician.

It is a common problem among all ages and both genders, but don’t let snoring ruin your relationship or a good night’s sleep. Learn what causes snoring and how you can put it to bed with our expert advice.  If your partner has ever told you that you snore, bear in mind the danger you might be putting yourself in every single time that it happens. It may mean that you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).

Some heavy, regular snorers have sleep apnoea, a condition where the airways become completely blocked during sleep with symptoms that include large pauses in breathing, leaving them waking-up gasping for air. Many heavy snorers tend to wake themselves frequently in sleep, with the resulting patchy sleep leading to daytime sleepiness. Regardless of whether it’s snoring or sleep apnoea, it can easily and quickly be prevented.

Even for those who sleep alone, snoring is no laughing matter. According to the National Sleep Foundation in the USA, regular heavy snorers are more likely to experience thickening or abnormalities in the carotid artery, which can lead to atherosclerosis; a hardening of the arteries that is known to trigger numerous vascular diseases.

Daytime grogginess, irritability and mood swings, problems concentrating and remembering, and an increased likelihood of car or other types of accidents are just some of the complications arising from interrupted, snore-ridden sleep. Since almost half of us regularly snore, isn’t it worth knowing what’s likely to be causing it, and what are the most effective measures of putting it to bed?

Products are available to open the airway. The C-PAP machine is one of the most recognisable treatments, and is used to prevent both snoring and sleep apnoea. Other less aggressive options include custom-fitted mouthpieces that reposition your jaw and open your upper airways so you can get more oxygen while you sleep. Other types that you can shape for yourself are easily available and both kinds are medically approved.

SleepPro oral appliances are not only rated by the NHS in Britain as the top performing products in their extensive regular tests, but are also issued directly to patients who consult many of their Specialist Sleep Clinics. The NHS results were published in the Lancet in 2014, but regular testing still continues to ensure the correct products stay at the top of their recommendation list – position that SleepPro still enjoys.

There at least 120 such oral appliances licensed in the US, for example, but all are variations of the original appliance and stick to the same principle. The prices vary greatly and is another reason stated by the British NHS for using SleepPro, as affordability is considered to be important too.

While Mandibular Advancement Appliances (MAD’s) can be bought over the counter, or online, it usually pays long-term to have a customised one made and fitted to your dental profile. It feels more comfortable, works better and lasts longer. Having a custom-made one can, in time, become much more cost effective, and more effective overall.

It’s vitally important to remember that OSA is a serious medical condition and it should never be ignored – but it should be prevented.

John Redfern


Research proves that you can’t be both ‘Fat’ and ‘Fit’

The new research was announced first at the European Congress on Obesity that took place last week in Portugal. The idea that people can be fat, but medically fit, is a myth, say those involved. Their early work, which is as yet unpublished, involved looking at the GP records of 3.5 million people in the UK for the 20 years from 1995 to 2015, but applies worldwide.
The term “fat but fit” refers to the theory that if people are obese, but all their other metabolic factors such as blood pressure and blood sugar are within recommended limits, then the extra weight will not be harmful.

Young Woman Measuring Her Waist

They tracked people who were obese at the start of the study (defined as people with a body mass index of 30 or more) who had no evidence of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes at this point.

They found these people who were obese but “metabolically healthy” were at higher risk of developing heart disease, strokes and heart failure than people of normal weight.

Dr Mike Knapton, from the British Heart Foundation, said: “It’s not often that research on this scale and magnitude is able to clarify an age-old myth.

“These findings should be taken extremely seriously and I’d urge healthcare professionals to take heed.”

“What was new from this study for me is that it showed that people who were overweight or obese were at increased risk of heart disease even though they may have been healthy in every other respect.

“Just being overweight puts you at increased risk of heart attack and stroke.”

According to the British Heart Foundation, the normal heart health advice applies – not smoking, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and limiting alcohol intake – can all help keep people healthy. However other studies have suggested that is not always the amount of fat that matters but where the excess fat is carried on the body that can affect fitness and health. For example, weight around the middle may be more damaging than weight distributed evenly around the body.

Being overweight can exacerbate an existing milder snoring problem, because one of the primary causes of the turbulence in the throat is the narrowing of the airway due to neck fat. Losing weight can help alleviate the problem by reducing fat in the neck and helping to open the airway.

Technically, snoring is the sound of air turbulence in the back of the throat caused by a narrowing of the airway, and the sound of someone snoring is really the sound of someone who is having difficulty in breathing. The most frequent myth about snoring is that it is harmless or even humorous. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is widely recognised that snoring is a sign of a potentially life-threatening sleep disorder if not prevented or controlled. It also causes ‘snacking’ which is associated with sleep disorders generally.

Snoring is a common condition that can affect anyone, although it occurs more frequently in men and people who are overweight and because of this it has a tendency to worsen with age.

When trying to locate the cause or causes for your snoring, you need to be methodical because without identifying where the source of the problem lies, it may prove difficult to cure. The first thing to consider is body fat, as obese people are very likely to snore. In short, men are more prone to putting on fat in the neck area than women; fat which squashes the throat, leaving less room to breathe.

Products are readily available to open the airway. The C-PAP machine is one of the most recognizable treatments, and is used to prevent both snoring, and sleep apnoea.

It’s easier though to purchase and use an appliance that uses a method called boil-and-bite and shapes it to your dental profile, and SleepPro have a range of these that are both inexpensive and simple to use. You bite into it as you do a sports mouth guard and it keeps the jaw in a stable position.

Other options include custom-fitted mouthpieces provided by dentists, but these are very expensive, and the same custom-fitted alternatives can be bought online for much less. They are equally effective and have been thoroughly tested by the NHS who list the range of UK made SleepPro products as their top recommendation, and even issue them to patients.

Losing weight is the ideal answer but in the meantime help is available this way, and together they offer a great joint solution.

John Redfern


The problems faced by couples due to snoring

Snoring is a huge problem that results in one in three couples in the UK now opting to sleep apart to get a better night’s sleep. Do you find it hard to get a good night’s sleep because there is someone snoring alongside you? Millions of couples worldwide are familiar with this situation and suffer from disturbed sleep. In some cases, both partners in the relationship are snorers.

Depositphotos_22187801_sleeppro

While we sleep our bodies are hard at work recharging and optimising our body’s functions. A recent study found that those who slept less than seven hours a night on average were three times more likely to get sick and suffer major health issues than those who averaged at least eight hours.

A recent study has shown that 41.5% of the British adult population snores at some time or other in their week. So most likely, even if you don’t snore, your partner does, and sometimes both of you have the problem. As such, more than 30 million people have a regular and ongoing problem with snoring and usually, men snore much louder than women.

The National Sleep Foundation estimates that 90 million Americans snore, 37 million on a regular basis. While all ages and genders snore, twice as many men than women snore nearly every night and most of them go through life undiagnosed. If you have trouble sleeping at night, it could be more than just a noisy disturbing inconvenience. In fact, you could be suffering from a serious medical condition called sleep apnea.

The reasons why we snore are pretty straightforward. When you fall asleep the muscles in your neck and throat relax. They then go floppy and the airways narrow, meaning there is less space for the air to go through. The soft tissue in this smaller space vibrates and rattles as the air passes through.

Snoring is also a symptom of sleep apnea which results in dangerous oxygen deprivation, as the sleeper’s airway becomes blocked, and deprives the brain of oxygen, As result it is unable to reach the cells and tissues, and dangerous conditions occur due to low oxygen over a long period.

If this is an issue for you, then there is a kinder, and more effective solution than kicking the person next to you and waking them up, or moving out. After all, that’s pretty counterproductive, and one of the main reasons why snoring is listed as the third most important factor that contributes to divorce. The medically recommended solution also makes quitting the marital bedroom to get some sleep something that is no longer necessary.

NHS Choices clearly gives the following information on their website:

‘If your snoring is mainly due to the base of your tongue vibrating, a mandibular advancement device (MAD) may be recommended.

It’s designed to push your jaw and tongue forward. This increases the space at the back of your throat and reduces the narrowing of your airway that’s causing your tongue to vibrate, resulting in snoring.

You can buy a MAD for around £30-50, which is suitable for most cases of simple snoring (snoring that doesn’t cause any breathing difficulties).

However, if your snoring is associated with breathing difficulties, such as obstructive sleep apnoea, it’s recommended that you have a MAD made specifically for you by a specialist using impressions of your teeth and jaw.

The cost of a custom-made MAD will depend on the complexity of the device and materials used, and can range from several hundred pounds to several thousand pounds. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to obtain a custom-made MAD free of charge on the NHS.

An MAD lasts about 18 months before it needs to be replaced.’

Source: NHS Choices

Following an extensive testing programme, the NHS published their findings in The Lancet and recommended SleepPro oral appliances as their number one selection to prevent snoring, along with mild to moderate sleep apnoea. Many patients acquire SleepPro products online after consulting their Hospital or Sleep Centre where special literature is made available that describes the product range available and they can arrange special prices.

These are all problems that couples who snore may have to cope with later in life when they should be relaxing, enjoying life, and ticking off their bucket list but it’s never too late to take action.

Peace will return to the bedroom and your relationship will be the winner.

John Redfern


Simple snoring – Is it a problem?

When someone who snores discovers that they do not have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and simply snore heavily, the resulting feeling can understandably be one of great relief.

Snoring man, frustrated woman

However for some patients, frustration and not relief is the dominant emotion. They remain alone in handling the complex problems spurred by their simple snoring such as their wife sleeping in a different room or not being able to go on a caravan camping trip with friends. They want advice.

Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are conditions that share similarities but have some differences. Both can be caused or made worse by factors such as obesity, aging, or a large tongue and tonsils. Both snoring and OSA can have negative effects on a person’s health, including lessening sleep quality and causing daytime sleepiness as well as causing weight gain, more rapid skin aging, and memory loss. These conditions can also lead to a greater risk of severe conditions such as heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Historically there are longstanding home remedies for simple snoring (also known as primary or benign snoring) that sleep professionals have always recommended, such as weight loss, limiting night-time alcohol intake, and these still stand today.

However the medical viewpoint has now moved on to recommend the use of easy and inexpensive methods of snoring prevention such as using an oral appliance when sleeping at night. This helps snorers and snorers’ bed partners markedly improve their sleep and it also brings important health results along with it. These also work for those who suffer from OSA.

Snoring solutions are similar to apnea solutions. Anything that will open up the narrowed airway will help.

Good sleep is key to good health and in the UK this week we have been celebrating sleep and most of us have been getting plenty of it, but there are over 20 million of us in the UK that suffer from snoring and that’s not counting the millions who are affected by somebody else snoring.

Whilst it is a common condition, National Stop Snoring Week aims to raise awareness about the impact that sleep deprivation can have on the human body and general health. For many of us, a good night’s sleep is something that we could only wish for but is actually vital for our health.

An Omnibus study commissioned in 2015 found that over 45% of both snorers and their partners have mediocre or poor sleep quality whereas 63% of people from non-snoring homes have good or excellent sleep quality.

Partners of snorers wake up more often during the night (49% partner versus 31% snorer), feel more tired (46% partner versus 33% snorer), and are unhappier (18% partner versus 12% snorer) than the snorer. Most snorers (43%) say they try not to let snoring bother them but 20% admit to sleeping in a separate bedroom.1

The study found that 64% of American households are now dealing with at least one snorer and 50% are losing sleep because of it.

The effects of poor sleep are compounded with 18% forced to sleep in separate beds. In the United Kingdom, this figure has skyrocketed to 34% of people with snoring partners with 38% of women insisting on separate rooms.

For couples that suffer from their partners snoring, men are winning by enjoying better sleep quality than women (15% vs 9%). Women on the other hand reported poorer quality sleep due to a partner snoring (23% vs 16%).

The available solution is fast, inexpensive and vital to your health, so check out the NHS recommended oral appliances that are supplied by SleepPro, and are made in their laboratories here in the UK. Following extensive tests, the NHS recommends SleepPro as the first appliance to choose for the prevention of both snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

John Redfern

  1. Source Research Article

80% of loud snorers who have sleep apnea don’t know they have it

Obstructive sleep apnea, often referred to as OSA, is characterised by loud snoring that occurs before a person stops breathing and is a condition that causes the throats of sufferers to close up while they sleep, meaning their brain has to continually wake them up from a deep sleep in order to reopen the throat muscles.

BBC Image

Watch this BBC NEWS film that describes Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The breathing pause can last a few seconds or several minutes and may happen many times during the night. It has been linked to daytime sleepiness and a host of other diseases.

Risk factors for sleep apnea include obesity, being over the age of 55, and smoking. Tests have proven that sleep apnea can be hereditary, and men outnumber women among those who are afflicted with the disease. Consequently, stopping smoking or taking dietary precautions prompting weight loss can reduce or even eliminate the effects of many sleep disorders. However, no age group is immune to a sleep disorder.

The overall number of people with OSA is known to be increasing due to major lifestyle problems such as more people now being overweight. Actual numbers are difficult to record as most cases go undiagnosed, but the increased number of nationwide Sleep Disorder Centres in the USA gives us a good idea of the growth of OSA. They have risen in total from 2.280 in 2010 to just over 2,850 in 2016. Their estimated revenue shows OSA is costing $7 billion per year, estimated to rise to $10 billion by 2020.

Similar figures exist for other countries but the economic impact of sleep apnea extends beyond the economic revenue for those who are treated the disease. The annual economic burden of undiagnosed sleep apnea in the USA is about $149.6 billion, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. This includes nearly $87 billion in lost productivity, $26 billion in car crashes and $6.5 billion in workplace accidents.

Untreated sleep apnea leads to a host of other serious health problems including hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and depression. As a result, undiagnosed sleep leads to $30 billion a year in increased health care costs. The AASM estimates if everyone who suffers from sleep apnea received treatment, it would create a savings of just over $100 billion.

Chronic sufferers are advised to use CPAP machines every night when they sleep and this involves wearing a mask that fits over their nose, or their nose and also their mouth. The device increases air pressure in a patient’s throat, prevents the airway from collapsing, and eliminates obstructed breathing.

However a high number of patients struggle to adjust to CPAP machines and use other approved medical solutions and treatments such as an oral appliance that shifts the lower jaw forward opening airways during sleep. This Mandibular Adjustment Device (MAD) will successfully address the problem of obstruction of the airway and restore normal sleep.

As said earlier, men have a higher risk of sleep apnea, but recent studies are finding that women who have experienced menopause have the same risk as men. Weight and genetics also have an impact.

Some patients seek treatment after a partner complains about their loud snoring, or gaps in their breathing, but for those who live alone it might be tougher to diagnose.

Snoring is a common phenomenon, but some snorers may require medical treatment so they should look for the following key indicators that may indicate that they have sleep apnea. These include daytime fatigue, lapses into sleep during the day, and impairment of normal activity.

If snoring results in them having headaches in the morning, suffer from bouts of irritability, or have any of the other symptoms, or if it disturbs their partner, then they should seek to prevent this by using an oral appliance (MAD) which does not need a Doctor’s prescription, and do so immediately, and in severe cases they should seek out immediate medical advice.

John Redfern


Oral Appliances to Treat Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

There are always lots of questions asked of us by those who are considering using an oral appliance for the first time and therefore we’ve tried to answer as many as possible of those basic questions in this short article.

Young girl can't sleep because of her man's snoring

What exactly is an oral appliance?

Oral appliances are one of the key options that you can use to treat mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea, as well as snoring. They are sometimes alternatively called Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS), Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD), or Mandibular Repositioning Appliances (MRA). They look a bit like a mouth guard that you might wear if you were playing a contact sport and they are worn at night while sleeping.

Do I simply snore or could it be sleep apnoea?

Snoring is very common and happens when your throat vibrates during sleep due to it having narrowed or even closed, which can happen for a number of different reasons. It is usually held open by a couple of small muscles and these may have relaxed causing it to narrow. When you breathe in it will therefore vibrate and make the sound we all know so well.

It’s very common for people to snore and can happen for both sexes and all age groups, but the age group at most risk are those of middle age and upwards. Men are a little more prone to snore than women at over 40% of their total but the number of women almost matches that figure nowadays.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition when the airway at the back of the throat is repeatedly blocked, partly or completely, during sleep. Although you may not realise, this stoppage in your breathing causes you to wake briefly and restart breathing once more. Your partner will observe this happening but not yourself and it can occur many times each hour. Snoring, obesity, and sleepiness in the daytime may suggest that a person has sleep apnoea and treatment for this is vital. If you need more advice you should contact your GP or local NHS Sleep Centre who will advise you.

How do oral appliances work?

The simplest way to describe it is that they push your lower jaw forwards. Your airway will open up more and there will be less of a risk that it will vibrate or be obstructed and cause you to snore.

As with all treatments, some people respond better than others but generally most people find them to be a satisfactory way to stop snoring. In the case of OSA, the oral appliance will work best if you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, if your sleep apnoea is a lot better when you lie on your side than when you lie on your back and if you are not overweight. If you have central sleep apnoea, which is much less common than obstructive sleep apnoea, then oral appliances will probably not help.

Severe or chronic cases of OSA will require treatment by CPAP which will stop sleep apnoea straight away in almost all people who use it but sometimes people find it difficult to wear the regulatory breathing mask which is attached to an oxygen pump and often stop their treatment. Rather than do nothing they are advised to use an oral appliance that will usually improve their sleep apnoea, but it may not completely stop it.

Are there any side effects?

The two main types are generally trouble free but any small problems can usually be quickly overcome. Type A can be used straight from the box and after immersion in hot water will shape to fit your dental profile. It can be re-modified as required over time until the fit is one that you find easiest and most comfortable to wear.

Type B is custom-fitted to your dental profile from a mold that you take and send back to the Dental laboratory that supplied it.

If the mouthpiece fits correctly correctly, it should be comfortable most of the time but because it pushes your jaw forward, some people may feel some discomfort initially, although it tends to get better with prolonged use. Mostly, any discomfort is in the joint at the back of your jaw, just in front of the ear. This should soon go away when you take the appliance out in the morning. Other people find that it causes saliva to build up in the mouth, or makes the teeth feel tender but these symptoms settle quickly with continuing use.

A 98% success rate and a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee on all our SleepPro Starter Appliances hopefully speaks for itself.

 

John Redfern


Poor Sleep is blamed for a wide range of health, work and social problems

Sleep is important for biological recovery and takes around a third of our time each and every day. Low quality sleep, particularly that interrupted by snoring and other sleep disorders, may be depriving people of as much as two years worth of sleep over their lifetime.

sleeppro stop snoring products

Sleep experts agree that chronic poor sleep in general, and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) in particular for anyone, but especially for older adults, can even be fatal.

A large-scale study (1) of over 160,000 people found that there was a clear association between sleep problems and the debilitating effects of a heart attack or stroke. A bad night’s sleep raises the risk of potentially fatal heart attacks and strokes and experts warn women are at higher risk because they are more prone to insomnia.

Difficulty getting off to sleep, staying asleep, and waking up not feeling refreshed increased the risks by 27 per cent, 11 per cent, and 18 per cent respectively. Women are at a slightly higher risk than men as they are more prone to insomnia because of differences in genetics, sex hormones and their reaction to stress.

Insomnia is a common problem regularly afflicting around one in every four adults. Sleep is therefore vital to all of us as restorative time and plays a significant role in healing and repairing the heart and blood vessels. It also gives the immune system and the cardiovascular system a rest and allows other organs to be restored.

The study was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology (1) and looked at the connection between insomnia symptoms and incidents or death from cardiovascular disease, including those from acute myocardial infarction, coronary heart disease and heart failure, or stroke, or a combination of issues.

However other factors such as smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure contribute significantly more to the overall risk of a heart attack or stroke than sleep problems do.

A spokesperson from The Sleep Council said: “This shows people must prioritise sleep as it’s as important as exercise and diet. People should have a sleep routine with regular bed-time and waking times and make sure they get as much fresh air and natural daylight as possible.”

Professor Valery Gafarov, of the World Health Organisation, said: “Sleep is not a trivial issue.”

Separate research has found that a sleep disorder might be as bad for triggering a heart attack or stroke as smoking or failing to exercise and that people who get less than seven hours are up to four times more likely to suffer a stroke and double their risk of a heart attack.

These research studies were extensively covered on BBC News (2) as well as the ITV show ‘This Morning’ and in both the Daily Express and other international newspapers including The Huffington Post.

The BBC found further research and stressed in its coverage that sleep loss had a serious effect on the school or working day, and that erratic and disruptive behaviour can be caused by even a single night’s loss of sleep. Lack of sleep does not only mean tired workers, says the study, but can also cause “unwanted” activity, which it links to lower levels of self-control.

In addition to this, tiredness brings personal danger to the individual, and to many others, when associated with either driving or handling machinery.

The study, published by the Rotterdam School of Management (2) says that such sleep-related disruption can cost billions in lost productivity.

Millions of people worldwide, including an estimated 80 million in the USA, suffer from some form of sleep problem, and nearly 60 per cent of them have a chronic sleep disorder that can harmfully affect their overall health and well-being. Two of the most common sleep disorders are insomnia and sleep apnoea and if you suffer from either then you should seek professional help and guidance.

John Redfern

Sources:    (1)    European Society of Cardiology Research Report
                           (2)  BBC News


Chin Strap or Mouthpiece? Which might be best for you to stop snoring?

Chin support straps for snorers have consistently proven themselves to be an effective answer to open-mouth snoring, and according to statistics this group of snorers accounts for a massive 80% of the snoring population.

Stop snoring with a sleeppro

As one of the industry’s most cost-effective and widely used anti-snoring devices on the market today, anti-snoring chin support straps are really easy to fit, wear and maintain, and for those who are looking for an introduction to anti-snoring products there’s simply nothing as easy as ordering, unwrapping, and wearing a chin support strap. It comes as one size fits all, and it can be used straight from the pack.

Of all the anti-snoring devices available, chin straps are one of the easiest to use. The simplest form of an anti-snoring chin strap consists of a cup made of fabric to provide support to the chin, and straps that go up the sides of the face and around the top of the head.

An open mouthed snorer could use either an oral appliance or a chin strap. The chin strap is designed to keep the mouth closed, but at the same time hold the jaw forward in exactly the same way, and prevents the tongue from slipping to the back of the throat.

It does exactly the same as a stop snoring mouthpiece does – a function that earns the latter the official name of MAD, or mandibular adjustment device. However many mouthpieces are either custom fitted or adjustable so that the advancement of the individual’s jaw can be precise, and as a result is both more effective and comfortable.

Although highly successful in the prevention of snoring, it is not however recommended that it is used on its own for the treatment of sleep apnoea, but it is sometimes recommended that it be used in conjunction with CPAP.

On the other hand it has other benefits. Unlike most other anti-snoring devices a chin support strap can be used if you wear dentures, braces, have gum disease or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction.

What is more – and perhaps of interest for more experienced snorers– they can also assist closed mouthed snorers, who suffer from nasal blockage and or mild sleep apnoea, because, when used in combination with a mouthpiece they can help to reinforce the tongue and muscle stability needed for peaceful sleep provided by your oral appliance.

If your nose is blocked due to an allergic condition or because of an infection such as sinusitis, you unconsciously breathe in through the mouth to compensate for the inability to breathe in through the nose. This is the body’s way of ensuring there is enough oxygen entering your lungs.

As you can see, it offers a simple way to stop someone snoring, but also has other distinct advantages that are useful as well as unique, whether used alone or as part of a combination. It is inexpensive as a starter for the prevention of snoring, but for those who have more experience of snore prevention it should ideally be purchased as a combination as this brings even greater value in the savings offered.

Chin Support Straps are sometimes offered in different sizes, but by far the best way is to purchase a version that offers adjustable fitting by way of the Velcro connections at the back of the head where it fastens together. At different times it may need to be fastened less tight – particularly due to hair or beard growth.

As well as being simple to fit, straight from the pack, there is nothing further that you have to do before you use it. Chin straps are easily washable, and are incredibly useful for when you travel away from, either on holiday or for business, taking up very little space and needing hardly any looking after or cleaning after use. At the low prices offered many people find it useful to keep a spare.

Using a chin support strap can also avoid the problem of having a dry mouth – something that affects some users of oral appliances.

The chin support strap is easily affordable by everyone; it’s long lasting, and after a few nights of using it most snorers report that they do not even notice wearing it. This device offers an instantaneous, non-invasive remedy for snorers, and with its fully adjustable function, it can be worn safely by anyone.

John Redfern


Did you forget? – The clocks went forward one hour Sunday

This month we’ve seen lots of attention put on sleep, from it being celebrated as ‘National Bed Month’ to many countries celebrating a special World Sleep Day on Friday 17th March, with this year’s official slogan being “Sleep soundly, nurture life.” Now we’re going to change the clocks.

Funny couple in bed

Spring will officially be here. The nights will become lighter, the temperatures will start getting (slightly) warmer, and during this Sunday night, 26 March 2017 we will see the UK move to British Summer Time: at 1am to be precise.

Daylight saving time (DST) or summer time is the practice of advancing clocks during summer months by one hour so that in the evening daylight is experienced for an hour longer, and normal sunrise times are sacrificed. Regions with summer time adjust clocks forward by one hour close to the start of spring and adjust them backward in the autumn to standard time.

‘Spring forward, fall back’ is usually the only way that anyone can ever remember if the clocks go forward or backward. Except it’s ‘Autumn’ for us in the UK, not ‘Fall’, obviously.

So the clocks are about to go forward, which is somewhat of a double-edged sword. It is obviously a good thing and something we’ve all looked forward to, but it also means that we lose an hour in bed, which is definitely a very bad thing. You might only be missing an hour of sleep, but it can have a negative effect on your body clock, and it can take up to a week to re-adjust and get back into your normal routine.

Sleep deprivation often hits the headlines and we are frequently told we need 8 hours a night. But how much sleep do we really need? Are we sleeping less than we used to and is today’s society really sleep deprived?

A recent meeting at the Royal Society of Medicine aimed to answer these questions. They reminded us that while we have every reason to think our sleep has never been better, we seem to have increasing complaints of fatigue and insomnia, and heavily disturbed sleep for many reasons, but particular sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep anoea, or the noise of our bedfellows snoring loudly.

Many of us have disturbed nights that leave us tired and irritable the next day. The rest of us may be sleeping for the recommended 8 hours – but is it quality sleep? It is increasingly being realised that poor sleep, both in terms of quality and quantity, has negative consequences for physical, mental and performance risk.

Sleep deprivation and sleep disorders are dangerous, costly, and impact our health and overall well-being. New research puts forth sleep as a major public health concern, and shows that the effects of a good night’s sleep are as beneficial for our happiness and well-being as winning the lottery might be.

In the USA insufficient sleep has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a major public health concern. It is currently estimated that between 50 and 70 million people in the United States have a sleep disorder, and one analysis revealed that over a third of adults do not get enough sleep.

Sleep deprivation leads to traffic accidents and occupational errors that can, in turn, cause industrial or environmental disasters and has many adverse health effects. According to the CDC, not getting enough sleep may lead to a range of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, or cancer, as well as generally increasing the risk of dying prematurely. A lack of sleep simply makes us unhappy and may even lead to depression.

Australia recognises the same problem and describes it as an epidemic. Research by the Australian Sleep Health Foundation has found between 33 and 45 per cent of Aussies have poor sleep patterns that lead to fatigue and irritability, and it’s putting them at risk of low productivity, damage to their mental health and unsafe behavioural patterns. The Official Sleep Day Ambassador has been offering tips to support sleep and help sustain health and wellbeing in the country, where they state that over 30% of adults now average less than 6 hours of sleep per day.

The message is the same everywhere – if you’re not sleeping well do something about it before really serious damage is done.

John Redfern.