Half the people who snore loudly have obstructive sleep apnoea

Snoring, put simply, is noisy breathing during sleep. It is a common problem among all ages and both genders, and it affects many millions of adults on a regular basis. Snoring may occur nightly, or intermittently, and the persons most at risk are males and those who are overweight. However snoring is a problem of both genders, although it is possible that women do not suffer with this complaint as frequently as men. Snoring usually becomes more serious as people age and it can cause disruptions to your own sleep and also that of your bed-partner. It can lead to fragmented and un-refreshing sleep, and this translates, into poor daytime function – tiredness and sleepiness.

woman who can not sleep because her husband snores

Often, this snoring is accompanied by episodes of stopped breathing known as obstructive sleep apnoea. Some women have success getting their husband diagnosed and treated for their snoring and sleep apnoea. Often, this snoring is accompanied by episodes of stopped breathing known as obstructive sleep apnoea. Some women have success getting their husband diagnosed and treated for their snoring and sleep apnoea.

If they snore and have high blood pressure or diabetes, they need to be assessed for sleep apnoea. A lot of time it’s the patient’s sleep partner who raises the red flag that there’s a problem. There’s an 80% chance that if a partner has to sleep on the couch because of snoring that the other has obstructive sleep apnoea.

Sleep apnoea is a sleep disorder that is characterized by pauses of breath or shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep. There are three types of sleep apnoea: mixed, central, and obstructive, the latter being the most common. People who suffer from sleep apnoea repeatedly stop breathing during their sleep. The affects of sleep apnoea are more than just being tired during the day. The disorder can have serious consequences and lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

However, the majority of women report difficulty in convincing their husbands to seek some form of medical attention. They should remember that this common medical problem not only interferes with the couple’s ability to share their marital bed, but also puts the intimacy that once was present in their marriage at risk.

Most men are unaware of any snoring or apnoea because they are sleeping. Even so, while interrupted or inadequate sleep takes its toll on women, the snoring and sleep apnoea are taking their toll on his health and longevity in a serious way.

It seems pretty clear that if men are going to get the treatment they need for snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea, then it’s up to their wives to take action. He deserves a long, healthy life full of vitality, and women deserve better sleep, more energy and a more intimate relationship with the man they fell in love with. Of course, this call to action applies regardless of who is the snorer in the relationship.

The solution is quick – and it’s also simple. Take my advice and buy him a stop snoring mouthpiece – an oral appliance like a sports gum shield that repositions the jaw just enough to open the airways. The results are immediate – and successful. Oral appliances of this type are NHS Approved and easily available online for a very small outlay – particularly compared to the benefits that they bring to the relationship and each individual.

John Redfern


Shift work, poor sleep patterns, and ill health are related

Doctors have been worried for years that our 24/7 lifestyle culture could have unintended consequences for human health with more than four million people – 17 per cent of employees – in the UK now working shifts.

A research study done at the University of Surrey showed that night shifts triple the risk of heart disease while mental health problems, cancer, depression, diabetes, obesity and strokes have also been linked to poor sleeping habits including heavy bouts of snoring. Not surprisingly, this is called Shift work sleep disorder.

Shift work sleep disorder

Shift work sleep disorder is trouble sleeping because you work nights or rotating shifts. You also may have this problem if you have trouble staying awake or alert when you are supposed to be working your shift. You may not be able to sleep during the day, and you may not feel adequately rested with the sleep that you do get.

DJ at work in a club

Shift work sleep disorder involves a problem with your body’s 24-hour internal clock, or circadian rhythm. Light and dark help your body know when to be active and when to rest. Light is a cue to be awake, while dark tells your body to sleep. When you work at night and sleep during the day, your body’s internal clock needs to reset to let you sleep during the day. Sometimes that’s hard to do.

This sleep disorder usually is a problem for people who work all night. But people who work an early morning shift-for example, starting at 4 a.m. – also may have sleep problems. Rotating shift work also can be hard. In these shifts, people work the day shift on some days and the night shift on others or it can change each week.

Many people that work nights get plenty of restful sleep during the day. Some people are “night owls,” and they adjust well to working at night. So getting enough good sleep is not a problem for everyone who works nights.

The research into night shift sleep patterns

To assess the effect on the body of this disruption, researchers placed a panel of participants on a 28-hour day schedule without a natural light-dark cycle. As a result their sleep-wake cycle was delayed by four hours each day until they were sleeping 12 hours out of sync with a normal day. Blood samples showed that after this experiment the volunteers had a six-fold reduction in the number of genes that displayed a ‘circadian rhythm’ – a rhythm with an approximately 24 hour period.

All the participants were aged in their 20’s and the sleep study was carried out in very carefully controlled laboratory conditions. This research may help us understand the negative health outcomes associated with shift work, jet lag and other conditions in which the rhythms of our genes are disrupted and it may be very relevant for conditions in which our body clocks are altered such as in ageing.

The overall conclusions

The main findings were that shift work could damage almost 1,500 genes, explaining why it has been linked to such a wide range of health problems, and this disruption to the timing of sleep, also caused by jet lag, is feared to increase the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other life-threatening illnesses.

John Redfern


Heavy snorers are twice as likely to suffer a fatal stroke

The key findings of this new research were as follows:

  • A major study of more than 25,000 people found the risk of a fatal blood clot more than doubled if someone snored through the night.
  • They were also 80 per cent more likely to have heart disease
  • Heavy snorers are twice as likely to suffer a deadly stroke than those who spend their nights sleeping peacefully.

Young woman and her snoring boyfriend
A major study of more than 25,000 people found the risk of a fatal blood clot more than doubled if someone snored through the night. These alarming findings, published in the International Journal of Cardiology, suggest the dangers of heavy snoring are greater than previously thought.

Around three million people suffer with the snoring condition sleep apnoea, with at least one in four men and one in ten women affected. There are however, millions of other heavy snorers who go undiagnosed.

As sleep begins, the muscles in the airways relax. While this does not pose a problem for most people, in sleep apnoea it leads to breathing being shut off for at least ten seconds. Air vibrates against the soft tissue that stands in its way, causing the characteristic ‘rasping’ sound that snorers make.

Once the brain realises breathing has stopped, it sends out a signal for the airway muscles to contract again. This opens the airway and the sufferer normally wakes with a jolt. Scientists believe that the problem stems from the blood flow to the heart and the brain being affected by snoring causing constant interruptions to the breathing pattern.

In mild sleep apnoea, this can happen once every ten minutes. But in more severe cases, it means sleep can be disturbed every couple of minutes. The treatment for chronic sufferers usually involves sleeping with a mask that pumps air into the throat continuously throughout the night.

But tens of thousands of sufferers are thought to go untreated, and the latest study suggests that the dangers to the heart and brain are greater than doctors previously thought. Chronic sufferers are often diagnosed and treated but moderate to heavy sufferers were seen to be at most risk as they are often undiagnosed and unaware.

As a consequence, they are now often recommended to wear simple oral appliances – ‘stop snoring mouth guards’ that reposition the jaw slightly and prevent snoring in almost all cases.

Although scientists think that the problem stems from the blood flow to the heart and brain being affected by constant breathing interruptions, it may also be due to the fact that heart rate and blood pressure are repeatedly jolted out of their naturally lower state during deep sleep.

Strokes hit 150,000 people every year, with 30,000 of them being fatal. Only cancer and heart disease kill more people.

The researchers said: ‘Patients who snore heavily or suffer from sleep apnoea will be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and death’. These comments are endorsed by The British Heart Foundation, whose spokesperson added, ‘For many people, it is linked to risk factors for your heart, such as obesity.’

John Redfern


Are these the top UK areas for snoring?

NHS Choices lists obesity as the first cause of snoring on their website; a noise that is caused by the vibration of the soft tissue in your head and neck as you breathe in. While you are asleep, the airways in your neck and head relax and narrow. It is thought the narrowing of the airways increases the speed at which you are breathing out, and it changes the air pressure in your airways. This causes the soft tissue to vibrate by sucking the sides of the airways in. It is something that we know will worsen over time.

As so few people like to admit that they snore, or may not know because they live alone, then many cases are undiagnosed and it is difficult to assess the number of total sufferers, although estimates are as high as 50% of men, and are only 10% lower for women – but fast catching up. So how can we obtain detailed information on this snoring epidemic; perhaps through the very accurate figures the Health Service has on obesity levels.

Obesity figures may show us the main areas in the UK for snoring, with some shocking new results defining that more than three-quarters of people in some areas are overweight or obese. This new league table of the country’s fattest towns and cities from Public Health England, has revealed in stark detail the extent of the country’s obesity problem detailing the fattest and thinnest parts of England – and perhaps the noisiest at nightime too.

Public Health Figures Highest and Lowest Proportions of People Who Are Overweight

Surprisingly some, such as Copeland in The Lake District, are in or near beautiful rural areas where one would think to find some of our fittest citizens. Meanwhile, the ‘thinnest local authorities’ include many in London, such as Kensington and Chelsea (45.9%) and Richmond upon Thames (47.6%). Nine of the top ten thinnest are in our capital city.

As we already know of the previously established close relationship between snoring and being overweight, it is more than likely that these incredibly startling obesity figures also reflect the pattern of snoring in the UK.

Public Health England have published the figures in a number of different ways that underline the clear regional pattern of the problem; something that could possibly highlight the key areas that the NHS should target for stop snoring solutions. This would be something that may well save many lives, and save the public purse a lot of money in the NHS budget.

A reason for the increase, along with changing lifestyle patterns and convenience/fast food, may also be that because snoring leaves you poorly rested and suffering from fatigue, that you are less likely to exercise and be active, so perpetuating the problem on a daily basis; the inactivity causing weight gain over a period of time.

The effects on our health are extraordinary with recent surging increases in diabetes and cardiovascular problems in particular as a result of this, both of which are life threatening and cost the NHS billions each year. Diabetes in particular is growing as a problem – one in 17 now have a diabetic problem. In 7 years the total has increased by one million to over 3.2 million sufferers, with an estimated 850,000 still undiagnosed.

£14 billion a year is spent by the NHS on diabetes – 10% of their total budget.

Stopping snoring and reducing weight at the same time can go a long way to reducing this amount and slashing the number of sufferers afflicted. The first is easy, and can be done with an inexpensive oral appliance overnight – the weight loss takes time and application.

John Redfern


How Chin Straps can help you to stop snoring

Snoring is becoming an issue that most people are facing everyday. In fact, recent research estimates that as many as 45% of men and approximately 30% of women are habitual snorers. Many cases are undiagnosed, or the individual simply refuses to accept that they snore, and have a problem.

Due to lifestyle factors such as increased weight, these figures are rapidly increasing. Although traditionally linked with middle age, the increase in obesity has identified snoring as an ‘all ages’ problem, and is highly prevalent in younger people, especially females, and also even in children.

There are various medically accepted ways to prevent snoring these tend to fall into three categories – two of which are both simple, and inexpensive, The third route, which is much more complex and only for very serious cases, is where the patient suffers from severe obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), and requires the constant use of CPAP equipment (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). This is an appliance which supplies a continuous forced flow of oxygen throughout the night by using a small bedside electrical pump, linked to an oxygen supply tank, and delivering it under pressure by way of a face mask.

3 options to stop snoring

The other two methods employ much simpler and easier methods, which are far less intrusive, but are still highly effective with satisfaction levels of 98%. The options are to use either a chin strap, or a mouthpiece – both very similar to sports guards which we see worn regularly in sports such as Rugby.

Which stop snoring method do you need – a Mouthpiece or a Chin Strap?

These two items are totally different, but both work to stop you snoring in different ways, dependent upon why the problem exists in the first place. It is very important to identify which one you need as they work in totally different ways to solve very different causes of the same problem.

Chin straps are mostly appropriate for those who suffer from open-mouthed snoring and wrap around the jaw and head to prevent the mouth from falling open during sleep, encouraging nasal breathing and preventing snoring, whereas the mouthpiece helps you to bring your lower jaw forward slightly and by doing so it opens the airway.

The results for both are instantaneous and they are easily worn. Chinstraps essentially work the same way as a dental mouthpiece in that they position the jaw slightly forward in order to keep the airway more open but do so whilst closing the open mouth at the same time. 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 the snorer and most uncomfortable as a side effect.

One problem – two alternative solutions – but one happy outcome using whichever item is chosen.

By John Redfern


Women, Snoring and the Menopause

It’s not just middle-aged overweight men who wreck their other half’s sleep.

Women are equally affected.

I read with interest an article in The Daily Mail recently where a woman discovered her snoring could result in serious health issues if untreated. Whilst napping on a train last summer she was suddenly woken by the sound of a loud snore.

She opened her eyes to see her family looking shocked, before bursting into loud giggles as she came to and in time to see a smartly dressed businesswoman gather up her laptop and move down the carriage.

In that moment she realised she was the one who had been snoring. To make matters worse, they were in the Quiet Zone. Everyone would have heard. She had always hoped that she was naturally feminine and alluring even while sleeping.

However over the past ten years her partner had repeatedly said she snored – sometimes when napping, and sometimes in the night when her snores had often woken him.  She always thought he was joking and denied it.

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Tired businesswoman asleep at her desk

She had always attributed snoring to smoking, or being overweight and indulging in too much alcohol or fatty foods – none of which applied. Then she recalled that she had been suffering a lot from daytime fatigue over the recent years. She had wondered occasionally if I something was seriously wrong. But then, in more sensible moments, thought she was just tired because of having a busy lifestyle.

The drowsiness had happened in a wide variety of situations; at the computer screen, in the cinema, and in front of the TV. She had even nodded off while on the phone.  It also happened during conversations with her family. She once found her daughter stabbing her awake with a pencil during a discussion about impending A-level choices.

Then she discovered, whilst in hospital for an unrelated matter, that her snoring could result in some very serious health issues if untreated.

Snoring and unexplained daytime sleepiness – either on their own or combined – may amount to nothing. But the two of them, together with increasing weight, and being aged over 50 indicates that the problem is likely to be OSA – Obstructive Sleep Apnoea – essentially, interrupted breathing during sleep.

When we sleep, our airways naturally relax and narrow. With sleep apnoea, the muscles and soft tissues around the airways relax and collapse so much they cause a blockage to the airway – the snoring is caused by the air being forced through a narrower space.  But if the airway becomes completely blocked you can actually stop breathing for ten seconds or more until you gasp or choke. It’s then that the brain starts the breathing process again.

The long-term effects of obstructive sleep apnoea, if not treated, is frightening. It’s linked to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. It can also lead to weight gain, which can only make OSA worse.’

Being excessively tired as a result of having your sleep repeatedly disrupted as you stop breathing during the night carries risks, too. ‘There is some research that shows that drivers who have OSA are six times more likely to have road accidents than those who don’t,’ says Professor Williams.

Yet the condition does not always get picked up as quickly as it should. Medical professionals believe 80 per cent of people with the condition are undiagnosed, many of them women, who are very reluctant, like the example described earlier, to admit that they snore.

John Redfern


FACT: Obesity causes snoring and it is highly dangerous

At the beginning of January I referred in an article to the fact that many more people are seeking medical help to try to stop them snoring and much of this increase is linked to the rising levels of obesity in the UK.

Since then even more data has been published in the Press and on TV. The statistical facts from this new report published by the NHS are extremely alarming. The main conclusion of the report, ‘State of the Nation’s Waistline’, is that over half of the UK population will be obese by the year 2050. If the current trend is not reversed there will be a cost of £50 billion per year to the National Health Service.

What is obesity?

Obesity is a term used to describe somebody who is very overweight with a high degree of body fat.

If you have a body mass index of 30 or above, you would be considered obese. It isn’t just a cosmetic issue, being obese increases your risk of developing a number of serious and potentially life-threatening diseases including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Things to come (1)

What are the main NHS findings?

  • There has been a marked increase in obesity rates over the past eight years – in 1993 13% of men and 16% of women were obese – in 2011 this rose to 24% for men and 26% for women.
  • The proportion of adults with a healthy body mass index (BMI) – defined as being between 18.5 and 25 – fell to just 34% in men and 39% in women during 2011.
  • For children attending reception class (aged 4-5 years) during 2011-12, 9.5% were obese.
  • During 2011-12 there were 11,736 hospital admissions due to obesity – this over 11 times higher than during 2001-02.
  • In 2011, 53% of obese men and 44% of obese women were found to have high blood pressure.

The report acknowledges current government approaches to the obesity problem, including the Change4Life Programme and the Public Health Responsibility Deal, but highlights that some significant gaps that must be addressed. In summary, while there are glimmers of hope, the overall picture is bad and may be worse than previously assumed.

What is the cause of the problem?

The underlying causes of the UK’s (and most of the developed world’s) obesity epidemic are not addressed in the report, but there is a large consensus of expert opinion that the following factors are responsible, Primarily as a result of changed aspects of lifestyle including the following:

  • There is easy access to cheap, high-energy food that is often aggressively marketed to people.
  • People’s lifestyles and jobs are much less active than in the past and many leisure activities such as watching television, playing video games and browsing the internet are usually done sitting down.
  • People drive or use public transport and walk a lot less than before.
  • Higher alcohol consumption and late night eating

How do I know if I have a problem?

Snoring is the alarm call that warns you of likely health dangers and even premature death and must be acted upon immediately. Snoring itself can do great damage through poor sleep patterns, disturbed nights and oxygen deprivation – all with drastic results.

How do I tackle the problem?

Although the lifestyle aspects are hard to change, and may take considerable time to achieve results, the sleep deprivation through snoring can be solved fast – in fact almost immediately.

Stop snoring mouthpieces are recommended by all Health professionals worldwide, and are NHS approved. They are easily available and at a very low cost at under £40 for the basic mouthpiece, and work immediately to stop the problem and cut fatigue, so safeguarding future health.

They have a record of high effectiveness and also patient satisfaction.

By John Redfern


Do you have Sleep Apnoea? If so, it’s a Time Bomb – and it’s ticking…

25% of the UK population suffers some form of sleep disorder that results in excessive daytime sleepiness. The following clues may help you to decide if there’s a chance that you may have sleep apnoea, which is a highly dangerous condition.

  • Do you wake up most mornings with a dull headache?
  • Do you feel just as tired as when you went to sleep?
  • Has your partner moved to the spare room?
  • Do they complain about listening to you snore loudly?
  • Do you choke and appear to gasp for air?

If so, you may have obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) — a condition where the upper passages of your airway close off, interrupting your breathing and depriving you of oxygen until you wake up and start breathing again. We believe that sleep apnoea affects more than 5 million UK adults but we also believe that around 80% of cases remain undiagnosed and the majority are living without treatment. OSA is a very dangerous condition to ignore.

Sleep Related Breathing Disorders

How common is OSA?

OSA is a relatively common condition that affects more men than women. In the UK, NHS figures estimate that around 4% of middle-aged men and 2% of middle-aged women have OSA and these are just the known cases.

Due to the lack of diagnosis only estimates are possible – but based on the number of known cases, it is likely that this is the tip of the iceberg, and that there are around 5-6 million sufferers in reality – and due to causes like being overweight, this figure is growing fast.

The onset of OSA is most common in people aged 35 to 54 years old, although it can affect people of all ages, including children. Studies have also shown that 60% of people over 65 years old have OSA.

It is thought that up to 5% of adults have undiagnosed OSA – 3 million cases.

OSA is easy to treat but when left undiagnosed and untreated, is linked with a range of serious health concerns that include heart disease and stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure, called hypertension. Fatigue becomes a huge problem too.

Mild to moderate OSA has proved far easier to treat that severe OSA and can be helped by the use of a simple mouthpiece that moves the jaw slightly forward and keeps the airway open – so breathing can be continuous. These have a high effectiveness rate – as much as 98% – and are inexpensive, simple to acquire as they need no prescription, and you will find that they are easy and comfortable to wear.

The result is that snoring stops immediately, you feel better rested, and you are likely for fewer long-term health problems. It’s a wise investment.

If the problem persists then consult your GP who will refer you for a Sleep Test to determine more fully the problem and its severity, but mouthpieces work for most sufferers and do it fast.

By John Redfern


The best New Year Resolution is to Stop Snoring, sleep better, and live longer

The start of a new year is always a time for us all to reassess our lives and undertake new directions, particularly as far as our health is concerned. To help us to do this, the current growth in our scientific and medical knowledge has included an improved understanding of sleep and its vital importance to our long-term health.

The past few years has seen significant advances in research showing a clear connection between poor and disturbed sleep and health conditions that range from early death to strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease and even cancer. Science is clarifying how important this is and why getting enough quality, refreshing sleep is vital to have happy and healthy lives. At the same time, public awareness is now beginning to grow about the importance of good sleep.

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Many factors contribute to poor sleep, and at least some of them can be addressed with wider recognition of sleep’s role for health. Sleep remains relatively low on most people’s priority list, and the result is that people do not address factors that harm sleep and are at least partially controllable: busy schedules, stress, smoking, alcohol or weight gain. It is time for us to pay much more attention to sleep and to modify our lifestyles to recognize the value of sleep to our future health.

A key element of this is to stop snoring. This is the most widespread sleep disorder of all, but is so often ignored and even thought amusing, which it certainly isn’t, either for the person snoring, or anyone else that has constantly disturbed sleep due to the problem.

We need to learn that it’s so easy stop snoring and sleep better.

It’s also vital to consider if it’s just snoring or is it sleep apnoea which is a more dangerous problem altogether, but often with an equally simple and similar solution.

The biggest tell tale sign is how you feel during the day. Normal snoring doesn’t interfere with the quality of your sleep quite as much as sleep apnoea does, so you’re less likely to suffer from extreme fatigue and sleepiness during the day.

Even if you don’t have sleep apnoea, a snoring problem can still get in the way of your bed partner’s rest and affect your own sleep quality and health and there are quick, inexpensive, proven treatments that can help, and can do so fast without a prescription.
It’s as simple as acquiring a stop snoring mouthpiece to wear at night. They are readily available online, simple to use, and because they can be moulded to fit your teeth and jaw, are comfortable to wear. They are similar to a sports mouthpiece but with a different type of safety in mind as the end objective. More importantly they are incredibly effective and will stop the problem of snoring in 98% of cases.

To stop snoring by changing your lifestyle takes a very long time and you may not be successful, because as we know, it’s difficult to do, and slimming and stopping smoking are two prime examples of this. A mouthpiece on the other hand will work immediately.

For snoring, and mild to moderate cases of sleep apnoea, a stop snoring mouthpiece is now so often the solution of medical choice, and medical professionals and health authorities worldwide recommend them, including the NHS in Britain.

By John Redfern


Record number of snorers are seeking medical help

The number of snorers seeking medical help has soared by nearly a third in just five years, rising to a record all-time level. Hospitals have just revealed that patients went for 24,329 appointments last year after being referred to consultants by their GP – almost 500 every week. Obesity has been cited as the single major factor for the figure rising 31 per cent in just five years from 18,523 and more than doubling from 11,714 a decade ago.

  • Nearly 25,000 appointments were made at hospitals last year for snoring
  • Obesity has been cited as a major factor for the rising figure
  • The British Heart Foundation says obesity is a known risk factor for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and serious snoring and sleep disorders.
  • Snoring is caused by the vibration of soft tissue in the neck and while inhaling and it can be triggered by being just a few pounds overweight.

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Being overweight is a major factor in why sleepers develop problems and the condition can worsen as the pounds pile on because fatty tissue around the neck hinders airflow.

Snoring can worsen into sleep apnoea, a more serious condition where patients have short periods when they cannot breathe. The brain wakes them so they take in more oxygen but the cumulative effect means the patient has a dreadful night’s sleep and can often drop off during the day.

Sleep apnoea can have a debilitating effect on a patient’s life and this includes serious consequences at work. Transport officials have disclosed that 210 drivers had their HGV licences taken away in the last three years because of the problem.

It is estimated that around 15million people in the UK snore to some extent with around 180,000 going on to develop full-blown sleep apnoea and NHS data shows that the number of people admitted to hospital in England with sleep apnoea is also up from 8,803 ten years ago to 23,657 last year.

A worrying aspect of the trend is the rising number of children suffering the debilitating condition.

Last year, youngsters had 3,556 hospital appointments related to sleep apnoea in contrast to 2,949 five years ago and 2,143 a decade ago. Marianne Davey, director at the British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association, said: ‘Lifestyle factors are still the number one reason for snoring and as the nation becomes fatter, snoring and sleep apnoea will increase.

There has been a four-fold increase in the number of children and teenagers admitted to hospital for obesity-related conditions in the last decade, doctors in England and Wales warn.

In 2009, nearly 4,000 young people needed hospital treatment for problems complicated by being overweight compared with just 872 in 2000.

Rates of obesity surgery also went up, especially for teenage girls.

Doctors say the UK has the highest rate of child obesity in Western Europe.

Obesity has been linked with serious illnesses during childhood and an increased risk of developing conditions, such as type-2 diabetes, asthma and breathing difficulties during sleep. Snoring can worsen into sleep apnoea, a more serious condition where patients have short periods when they cannot breathe.

The good news is everybody can stop snoring. Make your New Year Resolution now.

By John Redfern