Women cope with disturbed sleep far better than men

Men and women are constantly compared in all aspects of their lives and abilities whether it’s sporting achievement, salaries, career development or physical skills. The battle of the sexes continues with evidence that women are more suited to men at working in the early morning but not late at night.

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Research showed women perform better than men if sleep deprived and they bounce back faster after a few days of sleep deprivation. The reason is that women’s bodies are designed to care for their young and often have to operate with little sleep. In later years women go through menopause and these hormonal changes also impact on their quality of sleep.

It has always been known that because of the obvious anatomical and hormonal differences that twice as many women experience insomnia than men, although women are less likely than men to have sleeping disorders that involve breathing, such as sleep apnoea.

A recent study has now researched the differences in sleep disorders that are experienced by both and how it impacts their sleep quality. This new study by Diane Boivin, McGill Medicine and Assistant Professor in Psychiatry, highlights how one’s sex can also impact your quality of sleep. It isn’t something that hasn’t been looked at before and the differences were very clear but they are now confirmed along with the reason why.

It has been found that a women’s body clock causes them to fall asleep and wake up earlier than men. A woman’s sleep cycle differs slightly to that of a man and they need 20 minutes more sleep than men per night. The difference causes women to have a more disturbed sleep pattern. Because of this disturbed sleep pattern women are awake to react if they have a snoring partner. Men on the other hand are sleeping better than their female counterparts and might not be woken by the adverse nocturnal sounds of snoring.

As a result women are often unaware that they snore, or even worse, suffer from sleep apnoea. They tend to attribute their tiredness, headaches, moodiness and weight gain to hormones, worry or work related tensions. Doctors are also unaware and most women are treated with medications and an underlying cause like snoring or sleep apnoea is not addressed.

Women who do not know that they suffer from snoring or sleep apnoea will also tend to suffer from weight gain. If this weight gain gets out of control then they will definitely snore or suffer from sleep apnoea.

Researchers found that women who had consistent sleep patterns have the least amount of body fat. Results to the research showed that a consistent sleep time but more importantly a consistent wake up time was linked to a lower body fat. Quality of sleep is relevant to this and women who have disruptive sleep patterns have a change in composition with a loss of muscle to body fat. Sleeping between 8 – 8.5 hours a night was tied to the least amount of body fat.

Women tend to experience restless sleep during certain intervals of menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause, due to the higher oestrogen levels, and these intervals are known to shift women’s internal clocks, causing them to wake up and feel tired earlier than men. On the other hand, men are much more prone to experience shortness or lack of breath during sleep as a result of fat deposits surrounding the neck which appear on men much more than women.

Women also have a different relationship with sleep and illness. Women who had less than 8 hours of sleep demonstrated an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity over their male counterparts. Snoring and sleep apnoea display similar symptoms and may be misdiagnosed or even confused as a result.

The initial symptoms include tiredness, feeling anxious, lack of motivation to exercise, interrupted sleep, weight gain and headaches. Left unchecked, these symptoms can become serious and include heart attack, stroke, obesity, diabetes and thyroid problems amongst others.

If you feel you could be suffering from any of these conditions you should have it checked sooner rather than later. Medically approved products that include various types of mouthpiece for sleep apnoea treatment or to stop heavy snoring are available after overnight testing through local Hospitals or Sleep Centres, or even easier and more inexpensively online without a prescription or test being required.

John Redfern


Heavy snorers are up to six times more likely to be involved in a crash

A study by researchers at St. James’ University Hospital in Leeds suggests more than a million Britons could be unaware they are a danger on the roads as a result. These are surprisingly high figures to say that a simple mouthpiece worn at night when sleeping can prevent the problem.

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Erratic driving may be a problem for people with sleep apnea. People with this sleep disorder were found to be more likely to fail simulated driving tests than people without the disorder in the “control” group. Lane deviation, in particular, was a serious problem for those who failed the tests. Sleep apnea is characterized by periods of disrupted breathing throughout the night and this can often lead to daytime sleepiness.

Currently more than one in 30 people suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea but are not even aware of having the the problem as they have no memory of their sleep-depriving snoring and broken breathing. Signs your partner or someone else you know has OSA include loud snoring, noisy and laboured breathing, and repeated short periods where breathing is interrupted by gasping or snorting. With the mouthpiece, correctly termed a Mandibular Advancement Splint, the lower jaw is moved slightly forward to keep the airway open and prevent both snoring and oxygen deprivation.

The findings of the research were presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in London this week, and show that on average, people with untreated OSA are up to six times more likely to be in a road traffic accident than people who do not snore.

The statistics show that you are more likely to have sleep apnea if you are male, over 40 or overweight, but it’s not restricted to men only and the number of women sufferers is growing rapidly due to weight gain.

Having a large neck due to being overweight causes the neck muscles to slacken and block the throat when sleeping. Men with a collar size bigger than 17ins have an increased risk of developing OSA. Having a small lower jaw and smoking also raises the danger.

In the UK any driver who causes an accident by being overtired, can be prosecuted and fined up to £1,000 and this applies to OSA sufferers too.

All the research participants were tested in a driving simulator to work out how potentially risky they are on the roads judging by their standard deviation of lane position. OSA patients nodded much more while driving, admitted to a high chance of sleepiness while driving, were less likely to pass and more likely to fail than people who do not snore heavily or have laboured breathing at night. Lane deviation was significantly worse in the 20 per cent of OSA patients who failed the test completely.

Dr Elliott, the lead researcher said: “Worse lane position deviation is a marker of poor driving performance and this is significantly worse in OSA patients who fail the simulator as compared to the control group.”

The problem is even more dangerous when it occurs with drivers of Public Service Vehicles such as buses, and particularly amongst lorry drivers who of course drive mostly on motorways at higher speeds for longer hours.

Many people ignore the problem in fear of losing their licence, but this is the worst way to deal with it and can have dreadful results. A Mandibular Advancement Splint such as the SleepPro Custom can be bought easily online and does not require a prescription. The Custom is NHS Approved and they are also recommended to many patients with sleep disorders such as snoring or OSA when they visit an NHS Sleep Centre or Specialist.

In the USA the crash risk has been proved to be far higher among truck drivers not adhering to specified sleep apnea treatment. Truck drivers who have obstructive sleep apnea and who do not attempt to adhere to a mandated treatment program have a fivefold increase in the risk of a severe crash, according to a new study co-authored by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute researchers and featured in the March online edition of the journal Sleep.

Drivers not following the sleep apnea treatment administered by the study fleet were discharged or allowed to quit, having been retained only one-third as long as drivers who did adhere to the treatment program. The study observed that 60% of drivers who chose not to accept the mandated sleep apnea treatment quit voluntarily before they were discharged.

It’s surely easier to prevent it with a Mandibular Advancement Splint such as SleepPro Custom. They are incredibly inexpensive compared to others, (£155 * $US 207 • €187 • AUD $270) and because they are made to fit your own dental profile they are extremely comfortable to wear and work fast.

John Redfern


Heavy snoring is linked to traffic pollution and exhaust fumes

New research now clearly suggests that heavy snoring as well as tiredness could be down to traffic pollution and exhaust fumes. A study has shown that those of us who live close to busy roads, or whose bedrooms are nearer large highways, are much more likely to snore.

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The toxic gases and particles released by engines, particularly those that are
powered by diesel, are said to be a main cause of snoring

Added to this the noise from vehicles rattling by is believed to disrupt sleeping patterns, leaving us tired and restless, despite the easy availability of stop snoring treatment devices that are medically approved.

In a study of 12,000 people they discovered that 25% of men snored heavily at least three nights a week, with those exposed to traffic pollution being at the highest risk. A similar proportion of women suffered from daytime sleepiness, and again the likelihood of this happening increased with their exposure to traffic pollution.

For those sleeping in rooms close to busy roads – meaning they were exposed to both airborne pollutants and noise, there was an increased risk of snoring and daytime sleepiness with men more likely to snore and women more prone to sleepiness.

The study, based on data collected in cities across northern Europe, was revealed at this week’s annual meeting in London of the European Respiratory Society (ERS), attended by over 20,000 doctors and researchers.

In the results, Ane Johannessen, the leading epidemiologist at Bergen University in Norway, and her colleagues said: “It is likely that air pollution can cause snoring through airway inflammation… One could speculate whether women who have husbands who snore experience more daytime sleepiness but the key is understanding the impact of pollution.” Professor Stephen Holgate, the ERS’s science council chairman, said living by a busy road has been shown to have an impact on lungs similar to that of smoking 10 cigarettes a day.

He called on all governments, to bring in a “Clean Air Act” to force the automotive industry to minimise vehicle emissions: “Diesel in particular is the No 1 source of toxic air pollutants. Diesel particulates are carcinogenic and highly damaging to human organs.”

Professor Jorgen Vestbo, president of the ERS, said that the UK government should issue guidance on how to reduce exposure to air pollution such as by avoiding walking near main roads. “We cannot stop breathing polluted air but we can limit our exposure. Even walking a metre from the kerb or taking a back street does make a difference,” he said.
Loud snoring and daytime tiredness are often associated with obstructive sleep apnoea – or OSA. Snoring sounds a simple matter but it can be deadly if not treated and the effects on the patient’s health over time are extreme.

Those affected by air and traffic pollution, and in fact all snorers, can easily access high quality, effective stop snoring treatment devices that have been medically approved, and can do so online without needing a prescription. These oral appliances, worn at night, are both effective and comfortable, and are made to fit you your dental profile exactly. Leading medical researchers at the NHS Papworth Hospital in the UK, who are world-famous for their work in heart research and sleep disorders, have carried out totally independent research across this field with conclusive findings..

Their two key recommendations for custom-made oral appliances were:

  • SleepPro Custom should be offered as first line treatment for mild OSA and any form of snoring
  • SleepPro Custom should be offered as an alternative to CPAP for the treatment of moderate OSA including those who were lapsed users

Treatment using a custom mouthpiece such as the one described, will not only prevent this problem, but may even reverse some of the damage that has already happened. Ignoring the problem is extremely dangerous and unfortunately thousands of people do just that and suffer very severe consequences as they age, including diabetes, chronic fatigue and cardiovascular problems. It has also been proved that untreated snoring advances the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by approximately five years.

Use of a simple oral appliance will help to maintain the continued oxygen supply to the brain, something that OSA interrupts, so if you snore you should consider using a stop snoring treatment device immediately.

John Redfern


This month is being called Sleeptember and here’s the reason why.

Sleeptember is an exciting new initiative initiated by The Sleep Council and it will be running throughout September to remind everyone of the health benefits of a good night’s sleep. SleepPro supports this initiative fully.

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You’ll see lots of advice from many sources throughout the month. In the same way as getting proper nutrition and exercise matters greatly, sleep fulfils a vital role in keeping us healthy and happy. We need a good night’s sleep to ensure we’re feeling fit, thinking sharply and generally to give us the appetite and enthusiasm to make the most of everyday living. However, poor sleep and fatigue are common, affecting millions worldwide.

Just one bad night’s sleep affects our mood, concentration and alertness while long-term sleep deprivation through snoring or a similar disorder has far more serious consequences: it’s been linked to a number of serious health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke. More people need to be aware that cost effective treatment for snoring is right at their fingertips – and available online.

If you’re a poor sleeper then why not set yourselves the challenge of changing your habits for the whole month of September.

We’ve all heard plenty on the importance of getting a good night’s sleep so why is that when times get busy, sleep is often the first thing we sacrifice in the face of work deadlines and hectic social calendars?

While the myth of the eight-hour sleep no longer holds true – experts recommend between seven and nine hours of sleep a night for adults – your body and mind can’t function properly without sufficient sleep. It’s important that people start to realise that it’s all about the quality of your sleep, rather than the quantity.

Whether the issue is trouble getting to sleep because of anxiety or stress, or a snoring partner waking you up in the night, a sleep overhaul can help transform your sleeping habits – and open you up to the myriad benefits of high-quality sleep, night after night.

Here are some recommendations from a leading sleep physiologist, Joseph Gannon, of The Sleep Disorders Clinic, for his top tips on how to overhaul your sleep and why it’s worth it.

• Stop napping
Trying to catch up on poor sleep this way because research shows that this can lead to seriously increased levels of blood pressure

• Fight the temptation to sleep in
Sleeping in at the weekend doesn’t help us make up for a chronic lack of sleep but just throws us off our rhythms more

• Improve your diet
Don’t snack on the wrong types of food to keep energy levels up. According to the NHS it will make it more likely that you’ll gain weight and have a higher chance of becoming obese

• Solve your snoring problems
Many people are regular snorers, so whether your sleep is disrupted because of your own snoring or you’re living with a snorer, it’s worth examining the issue.

Gannon points out that snoring is also a key symptom of a potentially serious condition called obstructive sleep apnoea, which causes pauses in breath during sleep and needs to be assessed by a specialist. Roughly 5%t of the population suffers from the condition and aren’t aware of it. It’s dangerous when lefty untreated. The immediate thing to do if you snore is to obtain an oral appliance or stop snoring mouthpiece and this will bring you immediate overnight benefits in the form of better sleep and you’ll wake feeling refreshed. It will also boost your mood and may prevent depression as well as improving concentration and productivity levels at work.

Medically recommended cost-effective treatment is available without a Doctor’s prescription and at prices starting as low as £39.99* (USD $55, € 50, AUD $65) for an effective and comfortable stop snoring mouthpiece that you can use while you are sleeping.

As you can see there’s very little to lose and lots to gain by sorting out your snoring problem.

John Redfern