Research proves that you can’t be both ‘Fat’ and ‘Fit’

The new research was announced first at the European Congress on Obesity that took place last week in Portugal. The idea that people can be fat, but medically fit, is a myth, say those involved. Their early work, which is as yet unpublished, involved looking at the GP records of 3.5 million people in the UK for the 20 years from 1995 to 2015, but applies worldwide.

Beautiful Slim Woman Measuring Her Waistline With A Measuring Tape

Beautiful Slim Woman Measuring Her Waistline With A Measuring Tape

The term “fat but fit” refers to the theory that if people are obese, but all their other metabolic factors such as blood pressure and blood sugar are within recommended limits, then the extra weight will not be harmful.

They tracked people who were obese at the start of the study (defined as people with a body mass index of 30 or more) who had no evidence of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes at this point.

They found these people who were obese but “metabolically healthy” were at higher risk of developing heart disease, strokes and heart failure than people of normal weight.

Dr Mike Knapton, from the British Heart Foundation, said: “It’s not often that research on this scale and magnitude is able to clarify an age-old myth.

“These findings should be taken extremely seriously and I’d urge healthcare professionals to take heed.”

“What was new from this study for me is that it showed that people who were overweight or obese were at increased risk of heart disease even though they may have been healthy in every other respect.

“Just being overweight puts you at increased risk of heart attack and stroke.”

According to the British Heart Foundation, the normal heart health advice applies – not smoking, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and limiting alcohol intake – can all help keep people healthy. However other studies have suggested that is not always the amount of fat that matters but where the excess fat is carried on the body that can affect fitness and health. For example, weight around the middle may be more damaging than weight distributed evenly around the body.

Being overweight can exacerbate an existing milder snoring problem, because one of the primary causes of the turbulence in the throat is the narrowing of the airway due to neck fat. Losing weight can help alleviate the problem by reducing fat in the neck and helping to open the airway.

Technically, snoring is the sound of air turbulence in the back of the throat caused by a narrowing of the airway, and the sound of someone snoring is really the sound of someone who is having difficulty in breathing. The most frequent myth about snoring is that it is harmless or even humorous. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is widely recognised that snoring is a sign of a potentially life-threatening sleep disorder if not prevented or controlled. It also causes ‘snacking’ which is associated with sleep disorders generally.

Snoring is a common condition that can affect anyone, although it occurs more frequently in men and people who are overweight and because of this it has a tendency to worsen with age.

When trying to locate the cause or causes for your snoring, you need to be methodical because without identifying where the source of the problem lies, it may prove difficult to cure. The first thing to consider is body fat, as obese people are very likely to snore. In short, men are more prone to putting on fat in the neck area than women; fat which squashes the throat, leaving less room to breathe.

Products are readily available to open the airway. The C-PAP machine is one of the most recognizable treatments, and is used to prevent both snoring, and sleep apnoea.

It’s easier though to purchase and use an appliance that uses a method called boil-and-bite and shapes it to your dental profile, and SleepPro have a range of these that are both inexpensive and simple to use. You bite into it as you do a sports mouth guard and it keeps the jaw in a stable position.

Other options include custom-fitted mouthpieces provided by dentists, but these are very expensive, and the same custom-fitted alternatives can be bought online for much less. They are equally effective and have been thoroughly tested by the NHS who list the range of UK made SleepPro products as their top recommendation, and even issue them to patients.

Losing weight is the ideal answer but in the meantime help is available this way, and together they offer a great joint solution.

John Redfern


The problems faced by couples due to snoring.

Snoring is a huge problem that results in one in three couples in the UK now opting to sleep apart to get a better night’s sleep. Do you find it hard to get a good night’s sleep because there is someone snoring alongside you? Millions of couples worldwide are familiar with this situation and suffer from disturbed sleep. In some cases, both partners in the relationship are snorers.

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While we sleep our bodies are hard at work recharging and optimising our body’s functions. A recent study found that those who slept less than seven hours a night on average were three times more likely to get sick and suffer major health issues than those who averaged at least eight hours.

A recent study has shown that 41.5% of the British adult population snores at some time or other in their week. So most likely, even if you don’t snore, your partner does, and sometimes both of you have the problem. As such, more than 30 million people have a regular and ongoing problem with snoring and usually, men snore much louder than women.

The National Sleep Foundation estimates that 90 million Americans snore, 37 million on a regular basis. While all ages and genders snore, twice as many men than women snore nearly every night and most of them go through life undiagnosed. If you have trouble sleeping at night, it could be more than just a noisy disturbing inconvenience. In fact, you could be suffering from a serious medical condition called sleep apnea.

The reasons why we snore are pretty straightforward. When you fall asleep the muscles in your neck and throat relax. They then go floppy and the airways narrow, meaning there is less space for the air to go through. The soft tissue in this smaller space vibrates and rattles as the air passes through.

Snoring is also a symptom of sleep apnea which results in dangerous oxygen deprivation, as the sleeper’s airway becomes blocked, and deprives the brain of oxygen, As result it is unable to reach the cells and tissues, and dangerous conditions occur due to low oxygen over a long period.

If this is an issue for you, then there is a kinder, and more effective solution than kicking the person next to you and waking them up, or moving out. After all, that’s pretty counterproductive, and one of the main reasons why snoring is listed as the third most important factor that contributes to divorce. The medically recommended solution also makes quitting the marital bedroom to get some sleep something that is no longer necessary.

NHS Choices clearly gives the following information on their website:

‘If your snoring is mainly due to the base of your tongue vibrating, a mandibular advancement device (MAD) may be recommended.

It’s designed to push your jaw and tongue forward. This increases the space at the back of your throat and reduces the narrowing of your airway that’s causing your tongue to vibrate, resulting in snoring.

You can buy a MAD for around £30-50, which is suitable for most cases of simple snoring (snoring that doesn’t cause any breathing difficulties).

However, if your snoring is associated with breathing difficulties, such as obstructive sleep apnoea, it’s recommended that you have a MAD made specifically for you by a specialist using impressions of your teeth and jaw.

The cost of a custom-made MAD will depend on the complexity of the device and materials used, and can range from several hundred pounds to several thousand pounds. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to obtain a custom-made MAD free of charge on the NHS.

An MAD lasts about 18 months before it needs to be replaced.’

Source: NHS Choices

Following an extensive testing programme, the NHS published their findings in The Lancet and recommended SleepPro oral appliances as their number one selection to prevent snoring, along with mild to moderate sleep apnoea. Many patients acquire SleepPro products online after consulting their Hospital or Sleep Centre where special literature is made available that describes the product range available and they can arrange special prices.

These are all problems that couples who snore may have to cope with later in life when they should be relaxing, enjoying life, and ticking off their bucket list but it’s never too late to take action.

Peace will return to the bedroom and your relationship will be the winner.

John Redfern


Gritting your teeth and getting on with it may not be such a good idea

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. If they are in contact too often or too forcefully, it can wear down the tooth enamel that covers each tooth and without this to protect the inner parts of your teeth, you may have serious dental problems.

Woman holding mouthguard on white

Clenching or grinding your teeth regularly can also lead to pain in the jaw or in the muscles of the face. This is called Bruxism and it is the habit of clenching, gnashing or grinding your teeth. It happens mostly during sleep, but some people also suffer from this when they’re awake.

Who has bruxism?

It is thought that about half of the population grinds their teeth from time to time. But it may only be serious in about 1 in 20 cases. About 30% of children grind or clench their teeth too, but most children grow out of this and will suffer no lasting effects to their adult teeth.

How do I know if I have it?

You may not know that you grind your teeth while you are asleep. A bed partner may be the first person to notice the distinctive grinding sounds and noises. Other clues may be morning symptoms of a dull headache, jaw muscles that hurt or are tight, trouble opening the mouth wide, long lasting pain in the face, damage to the teeth and broken dental fillings.

If you’re not sure, your dentist can check and help you to work out if you have bruxism. He’ll ask you a series of questions and your overall dental health will be checked. This may include looking for any wear and damage to your teeth, checking the muscles in and around your jaw, and the function of the jaw joints, which are just in front of your ears. They may need to look at changes to your teeth and mouth over a number of visits to work out whether the cause is bruxism. It can take time to assess done this way and it can cost a reasonable amount of money to do so,

They may even suggest a sleep study may be needed. This will show how much you move your jaw while asleep. A sleep study looking for bruxism by itself is not common, but may also uncover other sleep problems that often accompany bruxism such as heavy snoring or obstructive sleep apnoea.

Bruxism is often increased as a problem by stress, concentration, or sickness, and can also be caused by excessive alcohol consumption and drug use. Most sufferers don’t know they have it despite the symptoms being clear.

What causes it?
There are many different and varied reasons for bruxism. These includes emotional stress such as anger and anxiety, drug use such as using stimulants, having to concentrate hard, illness, not having enough water in your body, the wrong diet, sleep problems, teething (in babies), bad tooth alignment and problems with dental work. Some people can also get bruxism as a side effect of taking antidepressants. If you let your doctor know of this side effect, you may be changed to a different drug.

How is bruxism treated?
There are many treatments available for bruxism, and they even include relaxation and awareness techniques. Counselling may be recommended as help to relieve stress in your life and improving the quality of your sleep can be of real benefit. This may include reducing the use of stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine, having enough sleep, making sure you keep a good bedtime routine, and stopping snoring by using a stop snoring device. Treating sleep apnoea in some people may also help to control bruxism.

There are no medications that will stop sleep bruxism and all dentists will suggest you use a mouth guard. They can be used straight from the box or one can be made to fit your dental profile exactly. Neither is expensive, and will save the dental problems as well as all the other issues. A fitted guard is obviously more efficient to use and more comfortable to wear.

It will help protect the teeth, muscles and jaw joint from the pressure of clenching and grinding. It will not stop the bruxism happening, but it will lessen the damage to your teeth and relieve much of the associated pain.

Can it get worse?
Many cases of bruxism are mild and cause little harm and if so, the person usually does not know that they are grinding their teeth. More serious cases may damage the teeth and result in facial pain and poor sleep. Nightly sounds can also wake other people sleeping nearby such as roommates and sleeping partners. If you know that you have this problem, then you should take immediate action to prevent any serious further consequences.

Don’t let life be a grind. Guard against it.

John Redfern


Simple snoring – Is it a problem?

When someone who snores discovers that they do not have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and simply snore heavily, the resulting feeling can understandably be one of great relief.

Snoring man, frustrated woman

However for some patients, frustration and not relief is the dominant emotion. They remain alone in handling the complex problems spurred by their simple snoring such as their wife sleeping in a different room or not being able to go on a caravan camping trip with friends. They want advice.

Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are conditions that share similarities but have some differences. Both can be caused or made worse by factors such as obesity, aging, or a large tongue and tonsils. Both snoring and OSA can have negative effects on a person’s health, including lessening sleep quality and causing daytime sleepiness as well as causing weight gain, more rapid skin aging, and memory loss. These conditions can also lead to a greater risk of severe conditions such as heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Historically there are longstanding home remedies for simple snoring (also known as primary or benign snoring) that sleep professionals have always recommended, such as weight loss, limiting night-time alcohol intake, and these still stand today.

However the medical viewpoint has now moved on to recommend the use of easy and inexpensive methods of snoring prevention such as using an oral appliance when sleeping at night. This helps snorers and snorers’ bed partners markedly improve their sleep and it also brings important health results along with it. These also work for those who suffer from OSA.

Snoring solutions are similar to apnea solutions. Anything that will open up the narrowed airway will help.

Good sleep is key to good health and in the UK this week we have been celebrating sleep and most of us have been getting plenty of it, but there are over 20 million of us in the UK that suffer from snoring and that’s not counting the millions who are affected by somebody else snoring.

Whilst it is a common condition, National Stop Snoring Week aims to raise awareness about the impact that sleep deprivation can have on the human body and general health. For many of us, a good night’s sleep is something that we could only wish for but is actually vital for our health.

An Omnibus study commissioned in 2015 found that over 45% of both snorers and their partners have mediocre or poor sleep quality whereas 63% of people from non-snoring homes have good or excellent sleep quality.

Partners of snorers wake up more often during the night (49% partner versus 31% snorer), feel more tired (46% partner versus 33% snorer), and are unhappier (18% partner versus 12% snorer) than the snorer. Most snorers (43%) say they try not to let snoring bother them but 20% admit to sleeping in a separate bedroom.1

The study found that 64% of American households are now dealing with at least one snorer and 50% are losing sleep because of it.

The effects of poor sleep are compounded with 18% forced to sleep in separate beds. In the United Kingdom, this figure has skyrocketed to 34% of people with snoring partners with 38% of women insisting on separate rooms.

For couples that suffer from their partners snoring, men are winning by enjoying better sleep quality than women (15% vs 9%). Women on the other hand reported poorer quality sleep due to a partner snoring (23% vs 16%).

The available solution is fast, inexpensive and vital to your health, so check out the NHS recommended oral appliances that are supplied by SleepPro, and are made in their laboratories here in the UK. Following extensive tests, the NHS recommends SleepPro as the first appliance to choose for the prevention of both snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea.

John Redfern

  1. Source Research Article