90% of us suffer from sleepless nights with snoring being a leading cause.

Over a third of adults say they often wake up than three times a night

Coventry is the capital of Britain’s biggest snorers while 96% of residents in Chelmsford claim they are plagued by lack of sleep

A staggering nine in 10 people suffer sleepless nights, a recent survey conducted by a leading UK Hotel Group has revealed. Worry is one of the major reasons, with a third of those polled claiming it had stopped them nodding off, but in some areas, snoring hit almost 40% of the total but with wide regional variations.

The poll of 2,000 adults by the hotel chain Premier Inn, found that on average a quarter of adults said that the loud snoring of their partner regularly woke them up.

Other causes that scored significantly were pets waking their owners (eight per cent), bad dreams (20 per cent) and being woken by their own snoring (nine per cent).

How did your area perform? There were some extremely wide regional variations and I’ll leave you to form your own conclusions as to why.

In the regional breakdown, the survey claimed that some towns and cities were worse when it comes to restless nights.

Coventry is said to be home to Britain’s biggest snorers with 40 per cent of adults being woken in the night by their partner whereas Liverpool is the noisy neighbour hotspot with 17 per cent complaining that rowdy residents wake them on a regular basis.

But the sleepless capital of Britain is Chelmsford, with a staggering 96 per cent of residents plagued by a constant lack of sleep. Almost a third of the town (31 per cent) said tiredness left them grumpy the next day.

So Premier Inn took over an ordinary street in Chelmsford for one night and transformed it into ‘Good Night Sleep Street’ so that residents could have a good night’s sleep. Amusingly, it provided various sleep aids including a flock of sheep for residents to count and a night warden to keep noise levels at bay and provide warming drinks.

It is of course hard to eliminate worry totally from our daily lives, but if we managed to eliminate snoring, and that is so easily done, so many areas could be improved with regard to our general health and our overall daily physical performance.

Many serious illnesses have been linked to snoring; coronary disease, stroke, diabetes and other serious health problems are known to be closely related. Equally well researched is the effect of the resultant poor sleep value on performance at work, and in some cases, putting life at risk for those in charge of vehicles or machinery. Although closely related to older men. It is no respecter of age or sex and it is even known to produce a range of severe behavioural problems in children and poor attention levels in class.

In the survey results, fatigue and tiredness were blamed by as many as 25 per cent of participants for affecting their productivity, concentration and ability to do their job efficiently or safely.

If you snore – get help. It’s easy to do so and very important. Talk your GP or Dentist and they will advise you of the choices available to help you eliminate the problem of snoring and make your future health s safer bet.

Many of these solutions are as simple and inexpensive as a mouthpiece, listed and approved by the NHS. It will contribute significantly to help eliminate the problem of your snoring – probably pleasing your partner a great deal – and help you to avoid the many long-term health dangers that snoring brings to adults including stroke, heart attacks and diabetes.

By John Redfern


Serious Sleep Problems revealed in Goodnight Britain

One of the most heavily watched programmes to be shown on BBC these last few weeks has been Goodnight Britain – a long overdue insight into unusual, but common, sleeping habits. It was a programme that was reviewed in depth by the Press with a widely ranging variety of responses.

According to the documentary, half a million Britons suffer from parasomnia, the technical term for sleep-walking, talking, and in the case of one woman featured on the programme, screaming and running about in the belief that you are being assaulted. I sympathise with the lady’s housemate, as both my stepdaughters are afflicted with this condition, but not to such an extreme I’m glad to say.

The programme also tackled sufferers with very common problem sleep behaviours such as snoring and insomnia. The first step involved fitting out their homes with night vision cameras, which were then closely monitored by two sleep experts – who weirdly never seemed to need any sleep – who were concealed nearby in their ‘sleep-mobile’.

Initial reactions were of course predictable and to begin with it was hard not to see the funny side of the unusual night-time activity. Snoring, for instance, has always been a subject of choice for our comedians.

However the show soon highlighted the serious side of sleeping and its various problems, as one participant was suspended from his job as a van driver due to his suffering from OSN – or obstructive sleep apnoea, a terrifying condition in which the muscles and soft tissue in the back of the throat collapse inwards during sleep, blocking the airway, and meaning that he stopped breathing in between snores.

As a result of his diagnosis, he was asked to notify the DVLA and to stop driving for a period of four weeks while he is treated “What am I going to do now,’ he asked, “I’ve done this job for 22 years and it’s all I know”.

But due to treatment there is a happy ending. At the end of this four-week period his GP notified the DVLA that he is now safe to drive and he is able to resume driving. He goes on to develop his career and achieve his HGV Class 2 licence.

It became very apparent that few knew they had a sleep condition or disorder. However, often their partner did. “Me, I don’t snore” is the usual answer. Even those who have accepted that they do are not aware how much it can affect their health, causing strokes, diabetes and other serious illnesses. In fact we are talking very high percentages of the population – a real problem – and often ignored in the United Kingdom – whereas in Australia, Canada and the United States it is taken very seriously and is a specialist treatment area with both Doctor and Dentist.

It is estimated that a quarter of the UK population suffer sleeping difficulties and over 10 million prescriptions for sleeping pills were issued in Britain last year alone. Commentator Sian Williams described Britain as “ a nation in the grip of a sleep crisis” – a crisis that costs the NHS £1.6 billion last year just for prescriptions and sleeping pills alone – let alone the more serious results that can happen. Yet anyone who’s ever suffered from insomnia, however fitfully, knows that it’s a very miserable experience.

Sleep disorders affect many people – whether it’s snoring, sleep walking, insomnia or sleep apnoea – so if you feel you have a serious problem seek medical advice.

For the vast majority of poor sleepers, however, just making some simple improvements to their bedtime routine and environment will boost sleep quality.

For others, there are many NHS approved solutions out there including MAD’s – dental mouthpieces for want of a better term, Chinstraps and not only are they inexpensive and readily available – there is overwhelming evidence that they work, saving thousands from both short term sleep problems but more importantly, serious long term health problems, or even sudden death.

The key thing si to know if you are a sufferer – and if so – seek expert medical advice on what to do next. Do not ignore it.

The British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association has launched a UK-wide survey into public awareness of the condition, sleep apnoea. The aim is to test public knowledge about signs, symptoms and health risks associated with the condition.

To make this the biggest survey yet it needs adult participants from all walks of life to take part. Whether you have this condition or think you have it, or somebody you know has it, or even if you don’t know anything at all, they would like to hear from you.

The survey will run until the end of January 2013 and the results will be published during next year’s regular National Stop Snoring Week from 22 – 27 April 2013.

To test your knowledge visit www.sleepapnoeasurvey.org.uk

By John Redfern