Why Brits Are The Most Restless Sleepers (Infographic)

Having trouble sleeping? Restless nights? Wondering why you're constantly feeling tired and fatigued?

There are a number of possible factors that are stopping so many brits from getting a consistent and comfortable rest at night, but why are so many of us struggling?

As mentioned in our previous post, 80% of loud snorers who have sleep apnea don’t know they have it and this figure is only likely to increase as the condition is often overlooked and misdiagnosed by our GP's.

Not sure what sleep apnea is? You can get the full details here.

With that said, sleep apnea doesn't account for every UK resident, but simple factors such as the environment in which we sleep or the quality of our mattresses play a huge role in our sleeping process.

Therefore, we decided to dig deep and put together a visual regarding sleep problems in the uk and what exactly is causing restless and sleepless nights for so many of us...

sleep apnea problems uk

One third of us are said to suffer from Bruxism – but what is it?

One third of us are said to suffer from Bruxism – but what is it?

Bruxism is the habit of clenching, gnashing or grinding your teeth. Your teeth are not meant to be clenched and in contact all the time; they should only briefly touch each other when you swallow or chew.

When happening during sleep, bruxism is considered as a sleep-related disorder, and people who clench or grind their teeth during sleep are more likely to have other sleep disorders, such as snoring or sleep apnoea.

If teeth are in contact too often or too forcefully, it can wear down the tooth enamel, which is the outer layer that covers each tooth. Without this to protect the inner parts of your teeth, you may develop dental problems. Clenching or grinding your teeth regularly can also lead to pain in the jaw or in the muscles of the face. Bruxism mostly happens during sleep, but some people also suffer from this when awake.

Mild bruxism may not require treatment. However, in some people, bruxism can be frequent and severe enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other problems.

Because you may have sleep bruxism and be unaware of it until complications develop, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of bruxism and to seek regular dental care.

Signs and symptoms of bruxism may include:

  • Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to awaken your sleep partner
  • Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
  • Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Jaw or face pain or soreness
  • Tired or tight jaw muscles
  • Pain that feels like an earache,
  • Dull headache originating in the temples
  • Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek

We don’t completely understand what causes bruxism but possible physical or psychological causes may include an incredibly wide range of factors including tension, stress, sleep apnoea, abnormal alignment of the upper and lower teeth, stomach acid reflux, Response to pain from an earache, and even complications resulting from a disorder such as Huntington’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.

In most cases, bruxism doesn’t cause serious complications. But severe bruxism may lead to damage to your teeth, restorations, crowns or jaw, headaches, facial pain and disorders that occur in the temporomandibular joints (TMJs), located just in front of your ears, which may sound like clicking when you open and close your mouth.

In many cases, treatment isn’t necessary. Many kids outgrow bruxism without treatment, and many adults don’t grind or clench their teeth badly enough to require therapy. However, if the problem is severe, treatment options include certain dental approaches, therapies and medications.

If you have bruxism, your doctor or dentist may suggest ways to preserve or improve your teeth that will prevent or correct the wear to your teeth.

The principal recommendation will be a Splint or a Mouth Guards. These are designed to keep teeth separated to avoid the damage caused by clenching and grinding and are constructed of acrylic or soft materials and fit over your upper or lower teeth.

Correcting teeth that aren’t properly aligned may help if your bruxism seems to be related to dental problems. In severe cases when tooth wear has led to sensitivity or the inability to chew properly your dentist may need to reshape the chewing surfaces of your teeth or use crowns. In certain cases, your dentist may recommend braces or oral surgery.

It’s important to protect your teeth and prevent the problem worsening as soon as possible and splints are an inexpensive way of doing so. For under £15 you can purchase a splint that will shape to your dental profile using the ‘boil and bite’ method. For a little more money you can have made a custom-fitted version that fits just your upper set, or by special request the lower set, dependent on which is required. Both types are worn at night.

Either type will protect your teeth from further damage and help you sleep better. Many sufferers start with the ‘instant splint’ and then move on to the custom night guard for longer-term protection.

John Redfern


There is further proof that snoring damages the body and can kill you.

New evidence has been found which says that snoring can cause you to have a stroke as well as leading to a higher risk of bronchitis

  • The vibration from regular snoring causes damage and inflammation to the throat
  • This increases the risk of artherosclerosis and the chances of a stroke
  • It is considered as a factor in the development of chronic bronchitis

SleepPro Stop Snoring Products

Snoring can be infuriating if you are on the receiving end. But next time you feel forced to kick your partner out of bed for keeping you up all night, or take refuge in the spare room, bear in mind that anything more than an occasional snore could be a sign that they need medical help as it may have very serious negative health consequences.

Snoring always ranks as one of the most annoying habits with couples and it can affect you personally even if you don’t actually do it yourself. If you have a partner who snores, then you may find yourself suffering from a lack of sleep because of it, and this can lead to a number of problems, including increasing your risk for all kinds of different diseases and conditions.

However a less well-known fact from new emerging scientific research is proving that snoring isn’t just bad for you because it disrupts your sleep… it may also be bad for you because of what it can do to your throat! Far from something to be brushed off, these nocturnal noises are rarely benign.

The constant vibration of habitual snoring causes damage and inflammation to the throat, and may be linked to thickening of the carotid arteries, which run up the sides of the neck supplying the head with blood.

Researchers at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, say that this increases the risk of artherosclerosis, which is the ‘furring’ of the insides of the blood vessels, and as a result it greatly increases the chances of stroke.

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a disorder that occurs due to the collapse of the airway in the throat during sleep and causes loud snoring and periodic interruptions in breathing. It has long been linked to heart disease and a range of other serious health problems.

The condition is thought to affect about five per cent of the world’s adult population to some degree, with 250,000 Britons suffering what is considered to be a severe form of it. However, almost half of the population are thought to be habitual snorers, without OSA, and similar figures exist for most other developed nations. Australian Health figures recently quoted it as being 44% with the figures for the USA even higher than the UK.

In the Henry Ford study, experts reviewed data for more than 900 patients, aged 18 to 50, who had been evaluated by the institution’s sleep centre. None of the volunteers suffered from OSA. They completed a survey regarding their snoring and had scans of their carotid arteries.

Compared to non-snorers, snorers were found to have significantly thicker arterial walls, an early sign of cardiovascular disease.

Surprisingly, those with high cholesterol, diabetes and those who smoked did not have thickened carotid arteries, leading the researchers to suggest that snoring was the biggest health concern for these people.

The same vibrations in the throat have been suggested as a factor in the development of chronic bronchitis, inflammation of lower airways accompanied by a persistent cough and the production of mucus or phlegm.

Analysis found that individuals who snored six to seven times per week were 68 per cent more likely to develop the condition. The association was strongest in individuals who were overweight, but smoking was not a factor.

There are stop snoring remedies available online to prevent the problem, and no prescription is needed, but the fact of the matter is that if you are a habitual snorer then you need to take action quickly. Don’t let snoring affect your health when it can be such an easy problem to fix!

John Redfern


Why is Snoring on the increase everywhere?

No one wants to be a snorer, and many are concerned that doing so will keep others awake at night. But new YouGov research in the UK reveals it’s now actually abnormal not to snore, after the age of forty at least.

Snoring is on the increase, Sleeppro has the answer

Overall 45% of people admit to being snorers. This ranges from 22% amongst 18-24 year olds to 55% amongst over 60s. Not only does the tendency to snore increase with age but also it is also more likely to do so if you are a man, as data shows that 51% of men snore compared to 40% of women.

The majority of couples over the age of 40 include a snorer. 55% of 40-59 year-olds say their partner snores, and 57% of those over-60. Among the group of men who were aged over 60, almost two-thirds were snorers.

In Australia, similar figures from the Sleep Health Foundation show that between 33 and 45 per cent of Aussies have poor sleep patterns that are often due to heavy snoring, and these lead to fatigue and irritability – putting them at risk of low productivity, damage to their mental health, unsafe driving and behavioural problems.

Director of the Sleep Health Foundation, Dr David Hillman said: “Just like obesity, smoking, drinking too much and not exercising enough, sleep problems cause real harm in our community.”

It’s getting worse in Australia too. The study found that the numbers of sleep problems among Australians are 5 to 10 per cent higher than when the Sleep Health Foundation published its last survey on sleep health in 2010.

What causes snoring?

Snoring is caused by the soft tissue in your head and neck vibrating as you breathe in during your sleep. The soft tissue it can affect includes nasal passages, the soft palate, the base of the tongue and the tonsils.

As you get your nightly rest, the airways in your neck and head relax and narrow, which increases the speed at which you breathe. This also changes the air pressure in your airways, which in turn causes the soft tissue to vibrate, causing the snoring sound. The vibrations that happen during snoring are thought to weaken blood vessels and muscles in the head and neck. This further reduces the ability of the airways to keep open, meaning snoring is likely to be more frequently and even louder.

Some people snore so loudly that it can be heard in the next room and wakes up other members of their household. Others snore every single night and are virtually unable to sleep without making a noise. However, some people snore very infrequently and it only affects them if they are suffering from a cold or flu.

Does anything make snoring worse?

There are certain factors that can make snoring even worse because they cause the airways to narrow even further when a person is asleep and one of the main factors is obesity. A person with a neck circumference more than 17 inches sees extra pressure applied on the airways. In addition, drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes is also known to cause the airway to narrow, which in turn increases the risk of snoring.

Meanwhile certain sedatives and anti-depressants have shown to have the same affect on the airwaves as smoking and alcohol. Common allergies can also exacerbate snoring as substances such as pollen can cause the nose to become blocked.

Is there a cure for the snoring?

Although snoring can be treated to improve the effects there is no complete cure – but it can be prevented and significantly lessened as a problem. There’s a great deal of information available online which helps but some people will go to see their GP when their snoring starts to affect their sleeping patterns or is causing major problems in their relationship. Although it may surprise you, it is well documented that snoring is the third most important cause of divorce. In its most dangerous form, snoring can be one of the main symptoms of obstructive sleep apnoea; something we’ve described in detail in our previous articles.

A chronic snorer should try changing their lifestyle first and lose weight, but there is also a range of medically approved anti-snoring devices available that help to minimise snoring, including mouth guards of various types that vary in type and cost to suit the individual and the degree of the problem.

John Redfern


What keeps us awake at night?

Wherever you live in the world, the media focus this week has been on sleep and the dangers when it is interrupted, but particularly if by snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea. In this week’s article we’re taking a quick world tour to review what has been said and to see if it differs country by country.

Woman Awake In Bed Suffering With Insomnia

Snoring is noisy, and a real nuisance, and it can take many forms. However it is pri­mar­ily caused by vi­bra­tions of the soft palate and other tis­sue in the mouth, nose and throat that be­come par­tially blocked at night.

De­pend­ing on the lo­ca­tion of the block­age, you might be a nose snorer, a mouth snorer, a throat snorer, or even a tongue-base snorer where your tongue drops to the back of your throat at night, caus­ing an ob­struc­tion. But fortunately there’s an appliance available to prevent snoring in all its forms. As well as all the different types of oral appliances, the Chin support strap is popular and there are even small Nasal dilators – venting appliances that fit inside the nostrils to keep them clear and open at night when asleep.

Starting with the UK, a new survey revealed that most people wake up three times a night, and a worrying 11% wake-up between seven and 10 times.

Discomfort and back pains wake19% of us, whilst bad dreams or nightmares affect 11% of us and another 6% say they have experienced anxiety about bills and work which has kept them from a good night’s sleep. Seventeen per cent of us are disturbed by our partners and most complaints from this latter group are related to noisy snoring by their bedmate.

Snoring is dangerous if it’s obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), which is one of a number of disorders that rob sufferers of recuperative sleep. If left untreated, it increases risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.

In the Republic of Ireland another survey found that one-third of people ‘get less than six hours sleep a night’, and the IKEA-commissioned survey also reveals that almost half of couples sleep back-to-back. I wonder why?

The survey was carried out among 1,000 Irish adults, selected to represent a wide range of areas and social classes.  A partner’s snoring is very likely to impact on someone’s sleep. Almost half of all of those who regularly share a bed claimed a partner’s snoring impacts negatively on their sleep.

Australia has the same problem and the Herald Sun reported that the nation is in the grip of a sleep deprivation “epidemic” with experts calling for quality shut-eye to be prioritised as a health issue with obesity and smoking.

This new research by the Australian Sleep Health Foundation has revealed a third of people are making mistakes at work because they’re fatigued while 20 per cent have fallen asleep at the wheel. The research, published in Sleep Health Journal, shows that 33 to 45 per cent of Australian adults sleep poorly or not long enough most nights leaving them fatigued and irritable.

More than 10 per cent of Australians were found to be sleeping less than five-and-a-half hours a night.

The research showed 21 per cent of men and 13 per cent of women had fallen asleep at work. Worryingly it found that sleeping issues and daytime symptoms of fatigue had increased by up to 10 per cent since similar research was conducted in 2010. Nearly a third of adults drive while drowsy at least once a month and 20 per cent have nodded off at the wheel.

Lead researcher Professor Robert Adams said: “The important of sleep is underestimated. We’ve known for 20 or 30 years that sleep problems are as important to health as things like diet, exercise, avoiding smoking and avoiding drinking but as a society we haven’t really acted on that fact”.

In North America, the problem is king size like much of the available fast food, and weight problems are regarded as a major cause of snoring. It is estimated that almost 80 million people snore in the USA alone, and a further 30 million are kept from restful sleep by obstructive sleep apnoea.

Untreated, severe obstructive sleep apnoea more than doubles the risk of dying from heart disease, the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project warns in conjunction with American Heart Month in February.

According to the Project, there are five key warning signs and risk factors for sleep apnoea: snoring, choking or gasping during sleep, fatigue or daytime sleepiness, obesity (BMI of 30 or higher) and high blood pressure. Millions of people still ignore the facts and as a result remain untreated.

Wherever we are – we need to wake up to the problem – but do so in a different way to the way we are doing it now.

John Redfern


Do you ever wake up with sore teeth and a headache?

If so you could be grinding your teeth. Clenching and grinding, also know as bruxism, is often caused by stress and in many cases, although not all, it happens during the night while a person is asleep. It can cause severe damage to your teeth, jaw pain, earache and headaches.

SleepPro Night Guard

The problem is controlled by the muscles in your cheek that also happen to be incredibly powerful and can exert up to a massive 600 pounds of force per square inch in the back of your mouth, near the molars. So as you can imagine, this strong muscle can have a serious impact on your teeth.

As many as one in 10 people experience teeth grinding on a daily basis, with the condition being most at its peak between the ages of 25 and 44, and on top of this, many others do it periodically. Because it often occurs during sleep, most people are totally unaware that they grind their teeth. However, a dull, constant headache or a tender painful jaw is a definite symptom of bruxism.

Just like snoring or sleep apnoea, people often first learn that they grind their teeth from their partner who hears the grinding at night, although the most reliable way to diagnose bruxism is during a sleep study. It is often also associated with other sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnoea and you may suffer from both.

In addition to being detrimental to oral and dental health, the noise from bruxism is often disturbing for others. It can lead to headaches, jaw pain and daytime tiredness caused by the disruption to normal sleep brain-rhythms.

If left undetected, dental damage will usually occur, leading to tooth loss and gum disease. In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening or even loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may wear teeth down to stumps. When these events happen, bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures and even complete dentures may be needed as a result.

Not only can severe grinding damage teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect your jaw and jaw joints, result in earache, cause or worsen jaw joint disease (TMJ), and even change the appearance of your face.

Bruxism frequently occurs due to psychological factors including anxiety, stress and emotional problems. However it can be caused by a variety of other medical disorders (neurological and psychiatric disorders, substance abuse, and as a side-effect of medications). Bruxism can occur at any age, is often noted in children and adults, and there are no significant differences in bruxism rates between males and females.

Patients with bruxism usually experience cycles of improvement and worsening in their symptoms over time and although complex sleep testing in a clinic is not essential to diagnose sleep bruxism, a simpler form of sleep study is often very helpful to assess whether the bruxism is associated with another sleep or movement disorder such as sleep apnoea, restless legs syndrome, or periodic limb movement disorder.

In many cases, your oral healthcare provider can provide you with an occlusal appliance, like a sports mouth guard, to be worn at night in order to protect your teeth from damage, and these occur in several forms.

One of the most common ways to protect your teeth from wearing down and even fracturing due to constant grinding and clenching, and reduce the subsequent pain, is to wear an ‘occlusal appliance’ which is simply a name for a protective night guard.

These are normally custom-made so that they fit perfectly over either your top or your bottom teeth. Simpler versions also occur that are suitable for milder, infrequent episodes of bruxism. Both are quite inexpensive and the custom-made version comes in several helpful options to suit you.

Other more advanced mouthpieces, called mandibular advancement devices, or MAD’s, are also regularly used to stop teeth grinding.

However, these are most commonly used when a sleep disorder like sleep apnoea is the most likely cause. They’re also bespoke made specifically to fit your jaw and are usually worn over both the top and the bottom teeth. The purpose of this is to bring your bottom jaw forward and this keeps the airway open, preventing snoring and episodes of sleep apnoea, as well as stopping you grinding your teeth.

John Redfern

 


Obstructive Sleep Apnoea WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Ill man sitting on his bed

What is OSA?

Obstructive sleep apnoea, or OSA, is a dangerous sleep disorder that makes patients stop breathing repeatedly. So if you snore heavily, or have severely disturbed sleep where you gasp for air, then don’t ignore it because it will get worse and not go away. Lots of cases go undiagnosed because many people simply aren’t aware they have OSA, although their partners will be.

 Anyone with OSA has repeated episodes of partial or complete obstruction of the throat when sleeping. This blockage of the pharynx or upper airway often causes heavy snoring as well. These airway obstructions will cause you to stop breathing for a period of 10 seconds up to a minute or more, and blood oxygen levels fall as a result.

Sleep will then be briefly interrupted for as little as 3 seconds and this allows breathing to start again, but with a disruption to your sleep. This can happen hundreds of times a night in the worst cases but you may not know. Most cases of OSA go untreated and it may be your partner who is more aware of your problem than yourself.

What are the key symptoms of OSA?

You will probably toss and turn a great deal as you have these episodes where your breathing stops. In addition, you may find yourself waking up often during the night, sometimes gasping or choking, although this does not always happen. However, even if there are few awakenings overnight, your sleep is disturbed and will not be refreshing because of this. As the day goes on, you may struggle to stay awake, especially in the afternoon. Grumpiness and other mood changes are common in untreated OSA.

Your OSA affects other people too

Snoring can keep a bed partner awake and sometimes people in other parts of the house. Some partners even try to stay awake to make sure that the person with OSA starts breathing again after a breathing pause. It worries them greatly when breathing stops. Lack of sleep may also make people who are living with a person with OSA more grumpy and irritable as well as the individual themselves. OSA is a problem for the whole family.

Should you worry if you have symptoms of OSA

There is strong evidence that people with untreated moderate to severe OSA have other health problems. If you have OSA, you are more likely to have high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease than someone without it. Each time you stop breathing, your blood pressure may go up and over time, this may also contribute to high blood pressure during the day (hypertension). There is also real evidence that having OSA, particularly if it is severe it may increase the risk of diabetes, heart attack, stroke or depression. Treating sleep apnoea may reduce these risks considerably.

How is obstructive sleep apnea diagnosed?

Signs and symptoms such as snoring, obesity, observed breathing pauses and sleepiness during the day might suggest that a person has OSA. The best way to be really sure is by having a simple sleep study and this can easily be done at home. This measures sleep, breathing and oxygen levels.

How is obstructive sleep apnea treated?

For people with a very mild level of OSA, and few symptoms, losing weight, decreasing the amount of alcohol consumed in the evening or adjusting the sleeping position may be all that is needed. Most people have more OSA episodes sleeping on their backs. Using a simple oral appliance to stop snoring and keep the airway open will help.

However, for those with moderate or severe OSA, much more active treatment is often required. This is particularly so if daytime tiredness is present or there is a background of heart disease, stroke or high blood pressure that has been difficult to control. The two most commonly used treatments for moderate to severe OSA are continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) where a mask attached to an oxygen supply is worn all night, or using a medically approved bespoke oral appliance.

Many people find CPAP difficult and uncomfortable to use, and in those cases the medical advice is to use a mouthpiece instead rather than not have preventative treatment of any form at all. The mouthpiece is designed to move the lower jaw forward which helps to keep the airway open. This mandibular advancement device fits over both the upper and lower teeth and these devices are being used more and more for the treatment of snoring and mild to moderate forms of sleep apnea.

The important thing, having identified the problem, is treating it without delay.

 

John Redfern


Advice on how to sleep more healthily as you get older

Sleep becomes harder as we get older, with research showing that we are more likely to wake up during the night and earlier in the morning. A report by the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) says the over-50s should be aiming for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to stay mentally sharp in later life.

Senior man sleeping on sofa

The report, ‘The Brain–Sleep Connection’, was drawn up by council members who met to review the latest scientific evidence on sleep and issue practical tips to help older people get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer.

James Goodwin, chief scientist at Age UK, which jointly founded the council, says in a statement: “Sleeping is something we all tend to take for granted, but we really have to wise up to the fact that getting the right amount of good sleep is crucial as we age, helping to protect us from all kinds of problems that can affect our brains as well as our bodies.

As we age, our cognitive functioning declines; we might have problems remembering names, forget where we left our keys, or have trouble learning new information. For some older individuals, the decline in cognitive functioning can be more severe, potentially leading to Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

According to James Goodwin: “The message is that in order to stay mentally sharp in later life – something we all care passionately about – you have to take care of your sleep.”

A number of things are listed but among the most important are to avoid looking at an electronic screen of any kind after you get into bed, including tablets, phones and laptops.

They advise cutting out alcohol in the last couple of hours of the day, losing some weight if necessary, and keeping your feet as warm when in bed.

One huge problem as we age of course is snoring, but nowadays it can be prevented by the use of a simple stop snoring mouthpiece, or a chin support strap. These don’t need a prescription, are inexpensive, and highly efficient. Those from companies such as SleepPro are medically approved by the NHS and are easily available online. They are even approved for the prevention of mild to moderate sleep apnoea.

After the council was set up in 2015, one of its founding partners, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), carried out a survey which discovered that sleep was the number one topic of interest for the over-50s and that 84% of them wanted to know more about sleep and brain health.

Sarah Lock, AARP’s senior vice president for policy, says in a statement: “It’s normal for sleep to change as we age, but poor quality sleep is not normal.”

A further new study by John Hopkins University in Baltimore brings some good news for older adults who enjoy an afternoon nap, after finding that a 1-hour siesta may improve memory and thinking skills.

Previous research has suggested that napping can improve cognitive performance for older adults, while other research has indicated that daytime napping can improve memory by fivefold.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, an afternoon nap of around 20-30 minutes is best for boosting alertness and mental performance, without interfering with your night-time’s sleep.  The new study, however, suggests that an afternoon nap of around 1 hour is ideal for improving cognitive functioning among older adults.

The study reports that nearly 60% of participants reported engaging in post-lunch napping, with the average nap lasting for around 1 hour. When compared with those who had no nap, the researchers found that participants who had a moderate afternoon nap performed far better in a wide range of cognitive tests.

The answer is to relax, have a suitable nap in the afternoon, and get a good night’s sleep by cutting out alcohol, late nights viewing tablets, phones and computers, and snoring.

John Redfern.


Snoring could be a sign that you need help – but how do you find out?

Snoring can be infuriating if you are on the receiving end. But next time you feel forced to kick your partner out of bed for keeping you up all night, or take refuge in the spare room, bear in mind that anything more than an occasional snore could be a sign they need professional help.

Annoyed wife blocking her ears from noise of husband snoring in bedroom at home

Far from something to be brushed off, these nocturnal noises are rarely benign, as any relevant authoritative health website will tell you. Typically, caused by a combination of physiological and environmental factors, snoring may rather surprisingly harm the body in a number of ways.

There are a number of ways in which it can harm you.

The constant vibration of habitual heavy snoring causes damage and inflammation to the throat, and may be linked to thickening of the carotid arteries, which run up the sides of the neck supplying the head with blood.

Researchers at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, say that this increases the risk of artherosclerosis – the furring of the insides of the blood vessels – and increased chances of stroke. Compared to non-snorers, snorers were found to have significantly thicker arterial walls, an early sign of cardiovascular disease. Surprisingly, those with high cholesterol, diabetes and those who smoked did not have thickened carotid arteries, leading the researchers to state that snoring was the biggest health concern for this group.

Those with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) had bigger problems. It is a disorder that occurs due to the collapse of the airway during sleep and causes loud snoring and periodic interruptions in breathing. It has long been linked to heart disease and a range of other serious health problems.

The condition is thought to affect about five per cent of the world’s adult population to some degree, with 250,000 Britons suffering what is deemed a severe form of it, and higher percentages still in some countries – particularly the USA and some Asian nations. However, in the UK alone, some 25 million people are thought to be habitual snorers, without OSA. Most sufferers are however remain undiagnosed and as a result in danger.

If you’re a heavy snorer it’s important to find out if you suffer from OSA and find appropriate help and advice before it’s too late. There are physical signs that will help to identify this but those who want to be exactly sure would benefit from a Home Sleep Test – a simple, quick, and very inexpensive way to find out the severity of the problem, and discover if you have OSA – or not. Not all snorers have OSA but all OSA sufferers snore.

Those who snore and don’t have OSA will benefit from using an approved stop snoring appliance – dependent on whether you snore through an open mouth or through the nose – and there are preventive devices for both forms that work incredibly well and very fast for most people.

Whether you require a stop snoring mouthpiece, or a chin support strap, you and other members of your family will benefit in many ways from you stopping snoring. Harmony will prevail as the nightly thunder ends, and everyone will benefit from having a better night’s sleep. You’ll wake feeling refreshed and suffer less from daytime tiredness and irritability. Sharing bedrooms is fine once more and your marriage will be on a better footing.

If you’re pregnant it will also help you considerably even if for a short period of time. An earlier study from the same team showed that women who begin snoring during pregnancy are at high risk of increased blood pressure and pre-eclampsia, particularly during the second and third trimesters.

The NHS recommends a sleep study, where your brain waves, breathing, blood oxygen levels, heart rate and movements while asleep are recorded, via the use of a simple oximeter attached to the end of your finger. This is a small item that produces large amounts of data to help you.

Patients diagnosed with OSA from sleep tests are offered a range of options.

If the OSA is severe, this should be followed by CPAP treatment under the supervision of your Doctor. Less severe forms of OSA can to be treated by the use of a ‘mandibular advancement’ device, which holds the jaw forward to keep airways open. This is simpler – but is highly effective and recommended by the NHS for approved selected appliances.

John Redfern


Caring for your mouthpiece is an important part of your dental care

Just like teeth or dentures it’s important to keep your stop snoring mouthpiece clean and germ-free. The season doesn’t matter.

collage of photographs on the theme of dental care and healthy teeth

Hot, humid summer weather brings uncomfortable nights and also needs you take more care with oral hygiene, as germs breed more rapidly. The winter is no different, as central heating can cause bacteria to proliferate.

Regular cleaning and care will not just keep your mouthpiece fresh and pleasant tasting, it will also keep it free from stains if you adopt the right cleaning solution programme.

Equally important is the fact that good appliance care will extend the life of your vital mouthpiece and make the need for replacement less frequent.

Lets not forget that the prevention of germs in this way is vital part of helping you to keep a healthy mouth. It helps you to keep your teeth, and means you need to have less dental treatment. The two main causes of tooth loss are decay and gum disease and the better you prevent or deal with these two problems, the more chance you will have of keeping your teeth for life.

Keeping your oral appliance germ free is an important part of your own personal daily routine to keep your teeth and gums healthy, and as part of a constant strategy to provide improved products to support customers, SleepPro have focused very closely on this important aspect of oral hygiene.

Recently a new liquid cleaner has been added to the range that is specifically formulated with the same antibacterial components as their successful specialist cleaning tablets, Fresh & Clean.

SleepPro Daily Cleaning Liquid is designed for daily use, by applying a small amount of liquid directly onto your mouthpiece and brushing it gently, paying attention to the small nooks and crevices that could harbour debris and bugs. Afterwards rinse it under cold running water to leave it fresh and hygienically clean. Alternatively you can clean your existing mouthpiece regularly with Fresh & Clean tablets. Each pack contains 20 tablets and is ideal for at least weekly use to keep your SleepPro fresh and clean.

Used sparingly, one bottle of Liquid Cleaner will last up to 6 months and can be purchased singly, or with our cleaning tablets, which provides a deep clean soak option for a perfect weekly or bi-weekly cleaning regime.

Recognising the importance of oral hygiene, SleepPro they have also added a special anti-microbial protection polymer in the making two of the most popular and effective appliances.

This protection has now been built into the two latest versions of SleepPro Custom and SleepPro Easifit, named Custom AM and Easifit AM to set them apart from the basic version, and for only a tiny price premium they’ll provide you with complete protection from germs with that mouthpiece. The most important benefit of an antimicrobial additive, aside from offering protection, is that it does not change the product into which it is integrated.

It will not affect the aesthetics of products, it will have no negative impact on performance, and it will not wear off or wash away.

The new AM technology not only makes your SleepPro mouthpiece more hygienic, but keeps it fresher for longer, as well as protecting both the surface of the appliance and helping to preserve a good comfortable fit. It provides long-lasting protection by creating a surface barrier upon which microbes cannot survive and extends the lifetime of the oral appliance.

They’re fully approved by the NHS who regularly issue them direct to snoring and sleep apnoea sufferers in many hospitals – and as well as stopping you from snoring, they’ll now protect you from most germs and infection.

Take good care of your mouthpiece and it will take good care of you.

 

John Redfern