Holidays, hot weather, global warming and sleepless nights

The key to feeling well rested is not just the amount of sleep you get, but the quality of it, and if you or your partner snore that doesn’t make for a great night’s rest. Add to that the ever-increasing amount of hot or humid weather, and problems for those who travel away and sleep in a different bedroom environment, and it’s tougher still. It can even lead to heat exhaustion on occasions. Holidays are a particularly stressful time and levels of snoring increase accordingly at this time.

SleepPro stop snoring products

Obviously it’s a big help if you are using an oral appliance regularly to help you to stop snoring, but lack of sleep can lead to heat exhaustion and this is very dangerous. Signs of heat exhaustion can include tiredness, feeling faint or dizzy, having muscle cramps or feeling sick. If left untreated, the more serious symptoms of heatstroke can develop to a serious level and include confusion, disorientation and even loss of consciousness.

Wherever you are in the world, night-time temperatures can stay as high as some summer days, and many people find it hard to get to sleep. Humidity is a big part of the problem, making it hard for sweat to evaporate. Anyone suffering signs of heat exhaustion should immediately go to a cool place with air conditioning or shade, use a cool, wet sponge or flannel and drink fluids – ideally water, fruit juice or a rehydration drink, such as a sports drink.

Recent high temperatures all over the world have led to a great deal of comment and advice on the subject all of which is worth noting for both now and the future. “As a species, we are obviously diurnal,” says Dr Malcolm von Schantz at the University of Surrey’s Sleep Centre. “We have evolved to sleep in a consolidated way during the night, when it is cooler and darker. Too cold or too hot temperatures during the night act as a natural alarm clock.

“We need to open the window to let the cooler air in, but if we are reliant on blinds, this will also let the sun in before we would prefer to wake up. Some people find sleeping with an electric fan hard to get used to, but a recent study has shown that using a fan during a hot night will decrease our time awake in bed by lowering the body temperature.

In places like the US and Australia, where powerful air conditioning units are reasonably common in houses that are located in hot and humid areas, it’s not so much of a concern. But in places like the UK where it’s hot and humid less frequently how should people ensure they get a good night’s sleep?

Weather expert Philip Eden recommends a technique common in Mediterranean countries.  “I make sure all the curtains are closed during the daytime to stop the sun coming in. I have the windows open on the shady side and closed on the sunny side. It means running round the house halfway through the day to close one side and open the other.” An hour before going to bed he opens all the windows to get a through breeze.

“The most sensible option is to use an electric fan,” recommends Mary Morrell, professor of sleep and respiratory physiology at Imperial College London. “It will help move the air around your body and increase the chance of sweat evaporating.”

There’s more to it than temperature and humidity, says Prof Kevin Morgan, director of the Clinical Sleep Research Unit at Loughborough University. Hot days mean we get into bed in a different physical and mental state. Often people have drunk more alcohol than usual. And when it comes to sleep, a different routine or state of mind is not good, he says. A nightcap is not recommended unless it’s something you do normally. Nor is a cold shower a good idea. It will make you feel momentarily cold and close down the pores so you’ll sweat less. If you have to shower, have a lukewarm one.”

Work-related stress causes us to lose sleep, and catching up on lost sleep is high on the agenda in the summer holidays. Poor sleep can’t be turned into good overnight, but it pays off to try, as good sleeping habits keep us going on holiday and at work.  Make sure you follow as much advice as you think you need and do everything you can to rest well and stop snoring.

If you’ve neglected your sleep all year, you can’t really expect things to suddenly change when you start your holidays. Having said that, there’s no need to get anxious because there’s always the future, and now is a good time to look in the mirror and think about possible changes.”

Take all the important steps described and make sure you’re using the right oral appliance to stop snoring. It should be one that is medically approved and from an experienced, qualified specialist, rather than just a cheap piece of plastic in mouthpiece form. In addition you may benefit from one that is custom made to your dental profile giving more comforts.

John Redfern


It’s important to understand the reason why snoring isn’t normal.

About half of people snore at least occasionally, and 30% of all adults snore regularly. Snoring even affects children with 20% of kids snoring occasionally, and almost one out of every ten kids snoring habitually. It’s not a good thing to be happening whatever age you are, so why does it start?

Stop snoring with Sleeppro

It’s a major worldwide problem and it’s growing because too few people are taking preventative measures to stop it or control it. Snoring may be common, but it is not natural. Breathing should be silent and effortless, regardless of whether you are asleep or awake.

In the USA alone those percentages add up to 80 million people who snore, and many of them heavily. In some countries the figures are higher still and recent Australian statistics showed that 70% of Australian men, and a growing number of Australian women now snore. At the same time the link between snoring and heart problems was strongly underlined and various lifestyle improvements were recommended for all who snore, but to do that takes time. As a result it is recommended that you start by using a stop snoring mouthpiece in the meantime, in order to prevent this danger, because snoring kills if it is ignored.

Snoring can be loud or soft. It can occur when you are congested or suffering from a cold or allergies, or it might be more regular. Snoring happens when the soft tissues in your airways are vibrating and while this is not necessarily a health problem, it can become one when your breathing is partially or completely obstructed by the flapping tissue.

In its worst state it is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and this is becoming a very common condition, particularly as body weights increase.

It occurs when the soft tissues collapse and block the airways, preventing air from getting to the lungs and oxygen from reaching the brain.

OSA is a serious sleep disorder and that last for at least ten seconds and those who have sleep apnea often snore loudly, but their snoring is punctuated by periods of silence during which their breathing has stopped. Once the oxygen levels in the brain have decreased enough, their brain will alert the body to waken enough to open the airway, which causes the person to gasp or choke. This can occur just a few or dozens of times an hour, ruining the chances of a good night’s sleep and leaving the sufferer feeling drowsy and unrefreshed in the morning.

Partners of snorers can also get a better night’s sleep if action is taken. If your partner snores, you are likely not getting the sleep you need. Sleep apnea and snoring can even lead to couples sleeping in separate rooms.

If you snore or have OSA, you can take steps to get the sleep you need. It’s easy to do and starts with oral appliance therapy using a stop snoring mouthpiece that has been medically recommended.

They are similar to a sports mouth guard or orthodontic appliance. They move the lower jaw forward pulling the tongue off the airway and using one will minimize or eliminate the symptoms of snoring and sleep apnea.

They are now used as the first line of treatment for mild & moderate obstructive sleep apnea patients who prefer them to CPAP therapy according to the Practice Parameters of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.  They are also an approved treatment for patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea who refuse, cannot tolerate, or fail CPAP treatment according to these same Practice Parameters.

By preventing the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat, oral appliances keep the airway open during sleep and promote adequate air intake.

They are also well suited for times when there is no power for a CPAP machine like camping and traveling.  They can be used on an airplane or in a car; they are comfortable and easy to wear.

Most people adjust to wearing the appliance immediately.  And the treatment is inexpensive, reversible and non-invasive.

Oral appliances may be used alone or in combination with CPAP for sleep-related breathing disorders. Check out the NHS Approved SleepPro Custom and their other approved oral appliances that will stop snoring successfully – and quickly – and with a money back guarantee.

John Redfern

 


Australia’s Health specialists warn noisy sleepers

‘Don’t ignore the heavy snore’

‘Kaua e wareware i te ngongoro taimaha’

Although insomnia and severe snoring problems are widespread in Australia and New Zealand only one in every three sufferers seek the help they need.  Health specialists from the Sleep Health Foundation are using Sleep Awareness Week, from July 4th – 11th, to highlight their serious concerns that too many people in are living with undiagnosed and untreated sleep disorders that steal both their health and happiness.

Warning about snoring

Sleep Health Foundation partners with Sleep Disorders Australia, the Australasian Sleep Association and other related research bodies throughout Australia and New Zealand, and their statements are endorsed by the World Association of Sleep Medicine.

“It’s a sad fact that more than one third of adults have sleeping problems, but it’s even more concerning that most of them are suffering through their bad sleep and waking unrefreshed without realising help is at hand,” says Professor Alister Neill, President of the New Zealand Branch of the Australasian Sleep Association and spokesman for Sleep Health Foundation.

“This poor sleep is adversely affecting their health, their mood, their relationships, their diet, their driving, their motivation to exercise and their ability to do their job safely and effectively. Every aspect of life suffers.”

Studies show that sleep problems like heavy snoring disrupted sleep, inadequate sleep duration, daytime fatigue, excessive sleepiness and irritability are experienced by 25-35 per cent of all adults on a daily or several times a week basis. About half of these problems can be attributed to specific treatable sleep disorders, particularly insomnia and the increasing occurrence of the snoring condition, obstructive sleep apnea.

In Australia, specific sleep disorders cost the economy $5.1 billion a year, including $800 million in direct health care costs. Poor sleep because of poor sleep habits or choices adds to this cost. The Sleep Health Foundation says sleep problems constitute a global epidemic that threatens health and quality of life for up around one third per cent of the world’s population.

The Sleep Health Foundation says it is helpful for people to realise there are three crucial elements to good sleep – duration, continuity and depth.

“Sound sleep is a critical function of good health along with a balanced diet and adequate exercise,” Dr Neill says. “If you’re not getting it then your health and happiness will be bearing the brunt. Your sleep needs to be uninterrupted, long enough to feel rested and alert the next day and deep enough to be restorative and refreshing.”

The main objectives of Sleep Awareness Week is for people to focus on improvements they can make that will bring major life benefits. This includes advice for people to keep regular sleep hours, avoid sleeping in and take care not to nap too late or too long. It also suggests that they should consider what effect environmental conditions like temperature, noise, light, bed comfort, and electronic devices could be having on their shut-eye. Professor Neill says, “It may be that you can make one or two small changes that dramatically improve your sleep and how you feel the next day.”

Above all this year’s Sleep Awareness Week warns noisy sleepers:
‘Don’t ignore the heavy snore’
‘Kaua e wareware i te ngongoro taimaha’.

A gasping snore in particular could be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a night-time breathing condition that affects energy levels, mood and general health.  Professor Neill says “There are effective treatments for snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness that can get you back to better health in no time.”

You should act as soon as possible and not ignore the problem. Easy to wear oral appliances and Chin Straps are available and are medically recommended worldwide, Customised oral appliances are also available for those suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnoea and using this type of mouthpiece is likely to prevent it developing to a more severe form which affects health and necessitates the use of CPA (Pumped oxygen combined with a face mask that is used throughout the night).

If you snore – do as they say. Don’t ignore it.

John Redfern


Do you know why you snore – and what will best prevent it?

Do you find that your partner is often telling you that you woke him or her up with your snoring? For some people it just happens when they have a cold or a blocked nose but others will find that it happens on a regular basis.

Why do I snore?

Snoring happens for all sorts of reasons, and is closely linked to other serious health problems such as diabetes, heart attack and stroke. The good news is that you can eliminate the problem, or at least minimise it, and you will both benefit. So it’s not something that your partner needs to have to learn to deal with and as a result you’ll both get a good night’s sleep and feel rested in the mornings, and you’ll be able to do that without either of you having to sleep in separate rooms. If you live alone you may not be aware that you snore although snoring often wakes you without you realising why. Even if it your snoring doesn’t wake you up, you will still get a poor night’s sleep because your body fails to get all the oxygen it needs.

The first thing to do is understand why you snore and often there’s not just one reason. Snoring occurs when the air can’t move through the throat and nose freely during sleep. The air makes the tissues around these areas vibrate, and the ‘snoring’ sound results.  Some people are just more prone to snoring than others because of their build. For example, the passages in a man are much smaller than those in a woman and can mean men are more likely to snore because of it.

Being overweight is one of the most common reasons for snoring. When you carry excess weight in your body, it is usually everywhere and even internal. This means your nose and throat end up with fatty tissue blocking the pathway for the air. Also, if you’re on medication, or you smoke or drink, you may find that snoring is more of an issue. These three factors all lead to muscles in the body relaxing and as they do so, they are more likely to vibrate when air passes through.

Your sleep position can also have a lot to do with your snoring. When you sleep on your back, your tongue relaxes to the back of your throat, causing the airways to become blocked.

Your age will also cause an issue for snoring as when you get older; your throat becomes narrower. There’s not much you can do about aging, but you can help to prevent snoring becoming a major issue over the years. It’s all about working on your lifestyle and changing your bedtime routines to help ease the air passing through and you can also get medically approved help in the meantime or alongside these changes happening.

It may be a more serious issue if it’s something called obstructive sleep apnoea – often called OSA. Sleep apnoea and snoring sound similar but are two very different problems. OSA can be extremely dangerous, and may need medical attention. If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night because of your snoring, it could be that apnoea is really the issue.

OSA occurs when the nose and throat are obstructed. The body wakes itself up time after time during the night so that you can breathe again, and you may also make choking sounds as you do so. If you do suffer from extreme fatigue during the day, it is likely that it is sleep apnoea more than snoring. The good news is you can do something about this, too.

There are three quite different medically recognised types of snorer and the solution for each of these is equally different:

  • Those who snore nasally due to weak nostrils (nasal snorer) and for this it’s important to keep the nostrils open using a nasal dilator, a small cone-like item that will keep the nasal air passages open at night.
  • Those who snore with their mouth open (mouth snorer) will benefit from using a Chin Support Strap which helps the mouth stay closed and do so in a comfortable way that brings instant results. This is the most widely used method and is medically recommended.
  • Those who snore because of weakness in the tongue and surrounding tissues (tongue snorer) have a requirement to use a mouthpiece, or oral appliance, which looks like a sports mouth guard. These mould to the shape of your dental profile and bring the jaw forward slightly which opens the airway and stops you snoring. SleepPro offer a wide choice of mouthpieces that, unlike others, are fully NHS Approved. Specialist mouthpieces are available for those with mild to moderate sleep apnoea and these are custom-fitted.

There’s no need to snore and damage your health irrevocably and permanently. For a very small price you’ll save yourself from paying a much bigger price in the longer term.

John Redfern