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.


My sleep apnoea causes me to stop breathing while I’m sleeping. Is this dangerous?

With more and more people now being aware of obstructive sleep apnoea, which has a rapidly growing number of sufferers, this is now a question that is asked often. However, approximately 80% of those who are believed to have obstructive sleep apnoea, commonly called OSA, still ignore it and leave it undiagnosed, thinking that it is not dangerous. Unfortunately that is a huge mistake and a severe danger to their health.

Depositphotos_88523646_sleeppro

Snoring is a normal sleeping habit for almost 50% of people today. However, some noisy sleepers may actually stop breathing for 30 seconds or even longer many times during the night. Even if you snore very heavily that does not automatically mean that you have OSA – but if you do have OSA you will definitely be a snorer.

If you stop breathing while you’re sleeping, you probably have obstructive sleep apnoea, which affects millions of adults. This kind of sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue of the throat relaxes during sleep and blocks the airway, resulting in snoring. Patients with sleep apnea may stop breathing for a period of time that lasts anywhere from ten seconds to two minutes and these interruptions in breathing occur multiple times throughout the night.

These interruptions are called apneic events and can trigger a loud snorting or choking that wakes you up to take a breath. This occurs due to your heart rate slowing because of the lack of oxygen intake. This lower level of oxygen is picked up by the brain, which then sends a signal to speed your heart rate up and rouse you from sleep in order to take another breath, often causing you to snort, choke, or gasp. This cycle repeating throughout the night can lead to sleep deprivation and exhaustion the following day as your sleep cycle is consistently interrupted.

Sleep apnea has been linked by clinical research to numerous medical conditions such as stroke, diabetes, depression, ADHD, headaches, high blood pressure, and even heart failure.

OSA can be caused by many things and should be taken very seriously. While sleep apnea may happen to anyone, it is more common in men over the age of 40 who are overweight. This condition is also very common in overweight women as well as individuals with a nasal obstruction or with gastrointestinal disorders.

It should be looked into by a health professional even though self-treatment can be undertaken for it in a less severe form. If your sleep apnea is severe and is causing consistent disruptions, you may need to seek one or more of a variety of treatment options. The main options are:

CPAP: A CPAP, or continuous positive airflow pressure machine, is one of the most common treatments that is used for obstructive sleep apnoea, although many patients who try it subsequently reject it. They find it difficult and uncomfortable to use for a variety of reasons.

A mask is placed over your nose and mouth that is hooked up to a machine that pumps a constant stream of air into the airway, keeping it open and preventing your breathing passages from becoming obstructed while you sleep.  The NHS now recommend that rather than reject it and have no prevention treatment, that chronic sufferers use an oral appliance rather than have no treatment.

Oral devices: These may be small and acrylic and worn inside of the mouth like a sports mouth guard and cause the repositioning of the lower jaw. Oral appliances are only effective for mild to moderate sleep apnea and commonly work by bringing your lower jaw or tongue forward during sleep to open the airway during sleep. Various types are available and they can even be made to specially fit your dental profile,

Sleep apnea may be more than just a common annoyance, as it has been linked to more serious conditions such as diabetes, stroke, and depression. It can also impact your ability to perform daily tasks, as it can reduce sleep quality resulting in exhaustion. If you are suffering from apneic events, talk to your doctor in order to discuss lifestyle changes and treatment options that may help prevent your condition from worsening.

 

John Redfern


The Truth about Snoring Issue in Women

Snoring is one of the biggest barriers to good sleep and well-being. Snoring isn’t a funny subject, but it could be a sign of a serious sleep disorder. You might have heard of women complaining about their partner’s annoying and loud snoring noises, but that doesn’t mean women don’t snore. It has been found that about 40% of men snore regularly but 24% of women are also frequent snorers. However, this gap closes and the rate of snoring for both men and women is same when they are almost to senior citizen status.

Snoring Control Products

Women snore later in life

Nearly half of all middle aged men snore, but women tend to develop this breathing problem later in life with an increased prevalence after menopause at around 60-64 years of age. Menopause brings about a lot of hormonal, physical and psychological changes in them. The levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones released in the body declines during this phase, which results in the development of obstructive sleep apnea condition in women.

Same disease in men and women, different symptoms

Typical symptoms of sleep apnea and snoring are quite similar in both men and women, but women tend to present with additional symptoms with snoring issues such as fatigue, headache, lethargic, tension, and depression. These conditions often divert clinicians to diagnose and treat snoring women for other conditions.

Snoring, Hypothyroidism and Diabetes: The Connection

Diabetes has often been associated with snoring and sleep apnea, especially in overweight males. However, a study of women aged 25-79 years has found diabetes in snoring women, independent of their age. This simply means snoring women are likely to suffer from diabetes than non-snoring females. The symptoms of snoring & sleep apnea and hypothyroidism are similar. It has been statistically found that hypothyroidism in snoring women is higher than it is in men. Probably that’s why snoring and sleep apnea in women are misdiagnosed.

Snoring and Craniofacial Features

Snoring is caused by upper airway turbulence that causes vibrations of the soft palate and uvula. Men have significantly larger airways and pharynx than women; however, their pharynx is more prone to collapse. The airways of women are narrower and less likely to collapse. The airway muscles in women are protected from collapsing by female hormones. These hormones decline in postmenopausal women, which results in the development of sleep apnea and snoring problem.

Here’s What Snoring Women Can Do

There are a wide variety of options available to you. First of all, try sleeping on your side. Sleeping on your side position can completely stop snoring in some women. You can even do yoga, throat exercise, and lose weight. The next snoring solution is the newer anti snoring devices or snoring control products that you can easily buy online. Lots of women snore, so it’s not uncommon. What’s important is that you search your cost effective snoring treatment for snoring and take quick action.


Is my snoring sleep apnoea?

Ask yourself this important question before it’s too late.

Is my snoring sleep apnoea?

Everyone who has sleep apnoea snores, but not everyone who snores has sleep apnoea. So how do we know which of the two problems we have?

Sleep Apnoea

Couple sleeping and spooning in bed in bedroom at home

Sleep apnoea can affect anyone; man or woman, young or old. It seems to run in some families, suggesting a possible genetic basis. People most likely to have or develop sleep apnoea include those who snore loudly, are overweight, have high blood pressure, and may have some physical abnormality in the nose, throat, or other parts of the upper airway.

Sleep apnoea is a health condition involving the collapse of the upper airway while an individual sleeps, leading to reduced airflow to the lungs. This often causes the individual to wake up at frequent intervals during the night as a reflex response to the resultant insufficient oxygen supply.

The key symptom of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is very clear. Breathing pauses a number of times during sleep and these are called apneic events. There may be as many as 20 to 30 or more of these events per hour and between them you will snore.

OSA may also cause you to have a choking sensation and when your breathing restarts, you may make a loud snort or gasp. These frequent breaks in deep, restorative sleep often result in headaches and excessive daytime sleepiness and it has been proved that this constant interruption of oxygen supply to the brain can often have deadly results. Other symptoms include dry mouth or sore throat and problems paying attention.

This common sleep disorder is characterised by these repeated interruptions in breathing throughout the sleep cycle. Chronic sleep or respiratory conditions can have devastating effects if not treated or diagnosed, and it is estimated that 80% of patients with OSA remain undiagnosed, which can impact long-term health by turning sleep or breathing into a burden with the following being the key problems that result.

  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heart disease/heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Driving and work-related accidents

Sleep apnea affects more than just sleep; it can affect the relationships, productivity and even overall health of those suffering from this condition. Even worse, rather than solving the problem, sleeping with the usually prescribed continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) bulky equipment can sometimes make it even harder to get a good night’s rest. An incredibly high percentage of those using CPAP equipment simply stop doing so and therefore receive no treatment and are described as ‘CPAP intolerant’.

Now, in many cases other than those which are extreme, difficulty in wearing the CPAP facemask through which oxygen is pumped all night, is no longer a problem as an efficient oral appliance will prevent most of the problem and in doing so, protect your short and long term health.

Recently, both the NHS and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) approved dental appliances as a first line of treatment for snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnoea and for patients with severe sleep apnoea who cannot tolerate CPAP.

After extensive research, the appliance recommended by the NHS in the UK above all others, was the SleepPro Custom, which moves the lower jaw forward, into a comfortable position, and ensures there is no obstruction of your airway. An ideal solution for snoring and related issues, the Custom can improve sleep quality and is a medically approved alternative to CPAP therapy and the awkward and uncomfortable CPAP equipment.

The SleepPro Custom is made from a fully customized dental impression that you would create with the special kit provided, and as a consequence is comfortable as well as effective. Once we receive your impressions our UK Dental laboratories will custom make the oral appliance to fit you perfectly. It is many times cheaper than similarly made appliances that are supplied by a Dentist, and it is made in exactly the same way.

John Redfern

 


New research proves that snoring speeds cancer development

A new European sleep apnoea study has found that snoring promotes cancer development because it limits oxygen intake. This might worsen outcomes for cancer patients. It reveals that intermittent hypoxia, which is a common side effect of sleep apnoea, promotes cancer development by promoting blood vessel growth within tumours.

 stop snoring and cancer risk

Lead researcher Dr. Antoni Vilaseca, of the Hospital Clinic De Barcelona in Spain, and his colleagues, recently presented their findings at the European Association of Urology (EAU) Congress in Munich, Germany.

Numerous previous studies have linked bad sleep to poor cancer outcomes, and this latest study reveals that hypoxia may be the reason why it happens. Researchers in Spain explain that hypoxia, which is just one of the many consequences of sleep apnoea, happens when body tissues or organs don’t get enough oxygen.

A 2012 study reported by Medical News Today, for example, suggests that sleep apnea increases the risk of cancer death. Last year, MNT also reported on a study linking heavy snoring and sleep apnoea to earlier cognitive decline including Alzheimer’s and dementia – both being advanced by 5 to 10 years because of it.

Abnormal breathing patterns during sleep, like sleep apnoea and heavy snoring, are more common as we age. According to published figures, such breathing problems affect around 52% of elderly men and 26% of elderly women.

Lead researcher Antoni Vilaseca of Hospital Clínic De Barcelona said that the latest findings suggest obstructive sleep apnea promotes cancer development by increasing blood flow in tumours. Dr. Vilaseca and his colleagues recently presented their findings at the European Association of Urology (EAU) Congress in Munich, Germany.

“Patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea usually suffer from intermittent hypoxia at night. This work shows that intermittent hypoxia has the potential to promote the formation of blood vessels within tumours, meaning that the tumours have access to more nutrients,” Vilaseca said in a news release.

Sleep apnoea is a disorder in which a person has shallow breaths or one or more pauses in breathing during sleep. Such pauses can last from seconds up to a few minutes, and they can happen as many as 30 times in an hour. Obstructive sleep apnoea is the most common form of the condition, where the airway becomes blocked or collapses during sleep. It can easily be prevented, by the wearing of a simple mouthpiece at night, but the majority of cases go undiagnosed and untreated. Snorers and their partners continue to ignore it and even consider it harmless.

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) affects millions of people worldwide and is an ever-increasing problem, mostly due to the increase of some of the main lifestyle factors that cause it. It is known to affect more than 18 million Americans in the US, with millions more not having treatment. Risk factors for the disorder include a small upper airway, smoking, alcohol use, being overweight and having a large neck, small jaw or a large overbite.

Approximately 5% of the UK adult population is known to have OSA, and the figures for Australia are even higher. Some of the high-population emergent nations have even bigger levels. Figures published this week stated that the level in India was assessed at 15%, and that for China higher still. Asia News alarmingly reported that as many as 30% of the population had OSA.

“Although this is an experimental study, it is remarkable, because it demonstrates the influence of oxygen deficiency on the growth of renal cell carcinoma tissue. Increased oxygenation of the blood may be the underlying mechanism why not smoking or giving up smoking, regular sport activity, reducing the body mass index and other lifestyle changes that increase tissue oxygenation have a supportive beneficial effect on better outcomes in renal cell cancer as well as other tumour types,” Arnulf Stenzl, Chair of the EAU Congress Committee, said in a statement.

Whatever the figures are – action is required at every level including Government controlled Health Services. Oral appliances similar to a sports mouthguard, when worn at night, have been proved by the NHS Researchers in Britain to prevent and control the problem. These appliances are inexpensive and easily available with no prescription required – but the majority of snorers ignore the problem until it’s too late.

John Redfern

 


Does your partner snore loudly and keep you awake?

Comedians joke about snoring, but snoring can be deadly serious. Snoring can be much more than a nuisance – it can keep you awake, get on your nerves and drive your partner into denial about how loud they are doing it when you confront them the following morning. So if your partner doesn’t believe he snores, you will have to persuade him that he does.

Woman Disturbed By The Snores Of Husband In The Bedroom

Your partner’s snoring could be a serious health and quality-of-life issue for both of you. If your partner’s snoring undermines your sleep then your brain and body are doing less well. With poorer sleep your work life, friendships, memory, driving, and everything else you do in life may suffer. The snoring can even become a threat to your relationship.

In fact, it’s recorded as the third biggest reason for divorce and forces many couples to sleep apart even when still together. However you can play an important part not only in keeping the relationship together, but also in making significant improvements to the health of you both by avoiding major health problems now, and more so later in life. Therefore it’s actually very important to monitor your partner’s snoring and keep your ears peeled for particular sounds and changes.

Firstly, although snoring isn’t natural, it’s very common as we all know, and steps should be taken to resolve it. The cause is a simple one. Snoring mostly occurs when the soft tissue part of our upper airway vibrates. This is called the uvula or soft palate and it normally happens when someone inhales during sleep. Although it is most common in middle-aged men, many women, and younger people suffer from the problem too.

Snoring is most commonly caused by someone being overweight, smoking, drinking alcohol and nasal obstruction (from flu or allergies etc.) – all of which are very important health issues in themselves. The cause of the snoring should be addressed in it’s own right – a quiet night’s sleep is an added bonus. Although the snorer is asleep, the person isn’t actually sleeping well and this can result in fatigue and headaches.

After years of snoring, it is possible for it to develop into Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). Signs of OSA include very loud snoring with periods when the person stops breathing for up to 10 seconds before gasping and choking. This could happen many times throughout the night. At this time oxygen is unable to reach the brain, which alerts the person and they wake briefly, but they won’t remember doing so.

OSA should always be addressed urgently as it can develop into more serious conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart issues. It has now been prove to be a significant cause of diabetes type 2, and also to advance cognitive problems such as Alzheimer’s or dementia by anything from five to ten years.

Women suffer too and they are more likely to snore after the menopause as a drop in their oestrogen and progesterone levels leave them less protected against lifestyle changes. They are more likely than men to suffer from problems such as depression, insomnia and headaches due to snoring.

To overcome the problem of snoring and prevent it’s development then obviously certain changes in lifestyle will be helpful, but these are often slow and difficult targets to attain – and sometimes far from popular so people give up. However if you do take active steps to improve your lifestyle then you will feel the benefits in other consequential areas.

To prevent snoring and OSA, there are products available with virtually 100% success rates and these are both recommended and approved by the NHS without the need for a prescription or making visits to Hospitals with designated Sleep Centres.

A simple, comfortable oral appliance, similar to a sports gum shield can be worn during sleep to eliminate the problem. They are unobtrusive and comfortable to wear as they mould easily in seconds to fit the shape of your mouth. They’re also inexpensive and start at under £40 whether it’s just for snoring, or for the more dangerous version called sleep apnoea.

What price a healthy longer life?

John Redfern


It’s easy – stop snoring and start to lose weight

Do you find it impossible to lose those unwanted pounds even though you’ve tried to cut down on fatty foods and exercise regularly? According to a new book reviewed at length in The Daily Mail, the key to successful weight loss lies not so much with what you’re eating and how much exercise you’re taking – but with your sleeping habits.

Stop snoring lose weight

In ‘The Duvet Diet – Sleep Yourself Slim’, health journalist Jane Worthington looks at a host of new research that suggests broken nights significantly disrupt our hormones and metabolism, leaving us much more prone to overeating and weight gain.

But once you get into healthy sleep habits, she says, you’ll find it much easier to control your appetite and lose weight. She quotes a recent study of more than 6,000 people carried out at Columbia University, America.

Stopping snoring will obviously help you and your partner to sleep better and this research has now clearly proved that this makes weight loss much easier. Scientists have found that sleep deprivation causes excessive hunger, which may lead to an increased BMI and other health problems. Sleep better and without even trying you’ll eat less because you’ll feel less hungry and you’ll not be prone to snacking.

When it comes to getting more sleep, Jane Worthington suggests that simply improving your bedtime routine and eating habits can work wonders – though if you snore, it is vital you address this problem first of all.

Snoring is a major cause of sleeplessness. If you gasp for breath when you’re sleeping, it can mean that you could be waking up as much as 100 times an hour without realising.

Severe snoring can be due to a condition called sleep apnoea, when you struggle to get air into your lungs because something is restricting the airway. This restriction often comes from the weight of fat around the neck – a problem that becomes more prevalent with age as muscle tone in the neck decreases. People with short wide necks are most prone to snoring.

Men are also more susceptible as they tend to accumulate more fat around the neck as they age and have narrower air pipes than women but a simple stop snoring mouthpiece designed for either sex will move the bottom jaw forward, keep the airway open, and prevent snoring.

Another new study looked at changes in body chemistry when deprived of sleep, and concluded that sleep deprivation causes excessive hunger. The lead author states that his findings add to the growing evidence of the dramatic effects on weight of snoring, sleep apnoea and sleep deprivation.

Losing weight is never easy, and harder for some people than others, but it has been proved that losing massive amounts of weight isn’t necessary to improve health. Shedding just 5% of body weight has been found to produce the biggest health benefits.

Researchers say this relatively small weight loss markedly lowers people’s risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as improving metabolic function in liver, fat and muscle tissue. They suggest it makes more sense for doctors to give patients this target to aim for than follow standard advice recommending they aim to lose up to 10% – a much higher target that may be counterproductive and even deter them.

Those patients who managed to lose 5% of their body weight experienced improvements to the secretion of insulin as well as insulin sensitivity, lowering their risk of type 2 diabetes. Future research may test whether a 5% weight loss would be beneficial to people already diagnosed with diabetes.

Commenting on the findings the British Heart Foundation says: “This study is good news for people who struggle with their weight as it suggests that even losing a small amount of weight can have a positive impact on health.

“As little as 5% weight loss resulted in improved blood pressure and lower levels of blood fats and blood sugar, which are all risk factors for heart disease. Losing more weight further improved heart health but setting realistic goals such as 5% is a good way to maintain healthy weight loss”.

When it comes to reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, lifestyle changes do not just apply to losing weight. Giving up smoking, preventing snoring or sleep apnoea, decreasing your alcohol intake and being more physically active all help reduce our risk of developing heart disease.

Stopping snoring will kick-start the weight loss automatically without you embarking on major forced changes in your eating habits or a ‘duvet diet’.

John Redfern


Why Sleep Problems often get ignored

Sleeplessness has a long and tortured history. A 15th-century Italian lawyer named Hippolytus de Marsiliis is said to have first documented sleep deprivation as a way to punish prisoners. To add to that this, make a note that he is the same man credited with confirming the effectiveness of slow-drip water torture. He was merely making formal what humans had known for centuries; not getting enough sleep is painful.

Mental health concept in playful style with egg characters

 

Today, the problem of too little sleep, and the quest for more of it, is as acute as ever. Over a quarter of the people interviewed in a new consumer survey of adults said they had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep most nights, and two thirds of them struggled with sleep at least once a week. For those in charge of machinery, or who are professional drivers, this lack of sleep can be a serious problem.

Tiredness at the wheel is just one major problem that results from lack of sleep and nodding off at the wheel isn’t just frightening – it can be fatal. Just think – at 55 mph you cover the length of a football field in 5 seconds. In fact, about one-fifth of fatal car crashes involve a drowsy driver, according to a 2014 study in which specially trained investigators analysed all the car crashes from 2009 to 2013.

A good night’s sleep can require everything from the practical, such as a comfortable pillow, to having calm and peace of mind. On top of this, the modern marketplace has exploded with supposed solutions for people who can’t sleep due to them or their partner snoring, but few of them are tested or approved.

For example, Americans spent an estimated $41 billion on sleep aids and remedies in 2015, and that’s expected to grow to $52 billion by 2020, according to an analysis by BCC Research. The main problem is that certain solutions don’t work as well as claimed – and that’s if they work at all.

Make sure they are either NHS or FDA approved and if possible they have evidence of authentic published medical testing. After all your health is what’s at stake so it’s not about buying cheap and saving small amounts of money. The word cheap means exactly what it says, and there are very good reasons for using it.

Millions of us have a sleep disorder such as snoring, sleep apnoea, or chronic insomnia and this can bring persistent difficulty sleeping and subsequent trouble functioning during the day – and that includes both men and women. The vast majority don’t get properly diagnosed or treated, according to research published in the journal Sleep Medicine.

Some people may be unaware of sleep interruptions, perhaps because they live alone, and often patients don’t bring their sleep to the attention of doctors because they don’t think it’s a medical problem or that the doctor won’t be able to help – and that may be exactly right.

Past surveys have shown that medical schools have formally devoted, on average, less than 2 hours overall to sleep medicine, and doctors might not routinely discuss sleep problems during reviews and visits. A study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that only 25% of primary care providers asked new patients about insomnia or other sleep issues, although many had signs of problems. Doctors might also find it hard to pinpoint which of the many sleep disorders is the culprit because symptoms may be unclear, and other illnesses and habits may also affect rest.

However if the problem is snoring or sleep apnoea, then the signs are very obvious, and prevention or control is of either is simple. On its own, snoring isn’t necessarily a serious concern. Almost everyone with sleep apnoea snores, but not everyone who snores has sleep apnoea.

The difference is that vibrations of the soft tissues of the upper airway produce snoring, and sleep apnoea occurs when the airway collapses and air cannot get into the lungs, interrupting sleep 30 to 60 times per hour.

There are lots of statistics to back this up. In the UK while 40% of men and almost 25% of women snore habitually, approximately 9% of men and 5% of women have sleep apnoea – but many more cases are unreported or undiagnosed. In the USA 12% of men and 8% of women are being treated for sleep apnoea. The figures are reported to be even higher in Australia but men still suffer more than women from this far-reaching condition.

Snoring and sleep apnoea are both easily treated with either a simple mouthpiece that brings the lower jaw forward while sleeping, and consequently opens the airway, or if you snore open-mouthed, by using an elasticated Chin Strap that closes the mouth and prevents you from snoring. Sometimes a combination of the two works even better for some people.

There’s a wide choice of medically approved oral appliances available – and as a consequence they don’t need a prescription. They are all good value, and easily affordable, and they can improve your life and health enormously.

John Redfern