Christmas can be a stressful time. There’s an endless mountain of presents to wrap, a mad rush around the supermarket for the last turkey, frantic cleaning before the whole family crowds into the house on Christmas day. And if you’re tired? It makes everything much more stressful.
When you’re kept awake by snoring, you become irritable and sleepy. Those rasping gasps can last all night, making Christmas feel like a difficult chore instead of a fun holiday. But you don’t have to kick the culprit out of the house. Instead, embrace the spirit of Christmas and buy a gift for the snorer in your life.
What kind of snoring relief do they need?
Make sure you know what’s causing their snoring first. That way, your gift of a snoring solution will be at its most effective (and appreciated!)
1) Are they snoring because of a blocked nose/cold?
Having a blocked nose restricts airflow through the nasal passages. This forces the sufferer to breathe through their mouth whilst sleeping, which can lead to snoring.
A great anti-snoring gift in this case would be a Snoreeze nasal product. The Snoreeze Nasal Spray and Snoreeze Nasal Strips target snoring caused by a cold, allergies or a blocked nose by opening the nasal passages to provide effective snoring relief.
2) Are they snoring because of interrupted breathing whilst sleeping?
Is your snorer generally tired and sometimes falls asleep during the day? Do they sometimes wake themselves (or you) during the night with a loud snore or snort? They’re likely to have sleep apnoea - a respiratory condition related to snoring that causes interrupted breathing during sleep.
When an apnoea occurs, airflow during sleep is prevented from entering the lungs by a temporary obstruction. The obstruction is because of a lack of muscle in the upper airway which causes the airway to collapse. Sometimes the soft palate at the back of the throat may partially or fully close the airway.
If your snorer experiences any of these symptoms, we recommend that they consult their doctor straightaway. An option to treat sleep disordered breathing is the Snoreeze Oral Device. Its adjustable design gently positions the jaw in a forward position to clear the obstructed airway and provide effective relief.
3) Are they snoring loudly every night?
Does your partner regularly snore? Does it not make much difference whether they’re sleeping on their back or their side?
Your snorer is suffering from the main cause of snoring: when relaxed muscle tension at the back of the throat causes the upper airway to narrow. This then causes the soft tissue to vibrate.
A great anti-snoring solution would be a Snoreeze oral product, like the Throat Spray, Oral Strips or Lozenges. The dual action technology targets the main cause of snoring by toning and lubricating the soft tissues at the back of the throat to provide effective snoring relief.
Buying an anti-snoring gift isn’t just a present for your partner – it’s a gift for you too! Get the sleep you deserve this Christmas with Snoreeze.
Reasons why pregnancy is making you snore
If you’re pregnant, there are many reasons why you could have started snoring.
1) Swollen nasal passages. During pregnancy, the amount of blood in your body increases, causing your blood vessels to expand. This can lead to swollen nasal passages, forcing you to breathe through your mouth. This can lead to snoring.
2) Weight gain. Weight gained through pregnancy can lead to increased tissue in the neck and throat. This narrows your upper airway, and restricts your ability to breathe freely.
3) Colds and allergies. Congestion from other causes, like a cold or the flu, can also result in snoring. Nasal irritation often increases at night when snoring is most likely to be a problem.
4) Sleep apnoea. Loud snoring can be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). Sufferers experience a blockage in their airway that causes them to briefly stop breathing in their sleep. This can happen hundreds of times a night! Look out for these warning signs: gasping/choking noises, loud snoring and daytime sleepiness.
How to treat your snoring
Make sure you’re still making healthy lifestyle choices during your pregnancy. This means avoiding alcohol and tobacco – and trying not to gain more than the recommended amount of weight (you can find more information about that here).
If you suspect you have sleep apnoea, or you’re worried about your snoring, visit your doctor as soon as possible. Loud snoring can lead to high blood pressure, and this can put both you and your pregnancy at risk.
You can treat snoring caused by obstructions of the nasal passages by using a Nasal Spray or Nasal Strips. For more information about finding a snoring solution during pregnancy, click here.
As with anybody who is sleep deprived, they become irritated with their partner, but also with other family, friends, and colleagues. Blaming the snorer is the only option for someone who is exhausted – and this heaps even more tension onto the relationship.
Poor sleep caused by snoring damages several aspects of a relationship, such as:
And it isn’t just the non-snorer that suffers. It's easy to simply criticise your partner for their snoring - but snoring can lead to more serious health issues like sleep apnoea, which causes shallow breathing or a lack of breath during periods of sleep. The condition links to a range of health problems like heart attacks and strokes, and affects around 6% of adults. If you suspect you or your partner have sleep apnoea, visit your doctor as soon as possible. For more information on sleep apnoea, click here.
Making a Difference
It’s clear that snoring can ruin relationships; it’s cited as a reason for divorce thousands of times a year in Britain. When snoring is such a problem in a relationship that you’re considering separation - even just sleeping in separate beds - you know you need to act. Although encouraging a partner to treat their snoring can seem impossible at times, the benefits will flood through when they decide to make a difference. Getting a good night’s sleep not only benefits your mental and physical health, but it will also benefit your relationship.
For help treating your partner’s snoring, click here.
Many people don’t realize that colds and flu can cause snoring, or make snoring even worse. When your nasal tissue swells during a cold, the airflow through your nose becomes blocked or restricted. This congestion may force you to breathe through your mouth, which can lead to snoring.
So how do I get a good night’s sleep?
1) Elevate your head. Sleeping flat on your back is not a good idea. Use an extra pillow to help drain your sinuses, and reduce congestion.
2) Steer clear of antihistamines that contain sedatives. These relax your upper airways, causing more air resistance in your nose and throat which can lead to snoring. The same applies to alcohol and sleeping pills.
3) Use a humidifier if you can. If you have a humidifier, try and use it while you have a cold. This will help keep the air in your bedroom moist.
4) Have a hot shower before bed. The warm water can help open your nasal pages.
5) Try using Snoreeze Nasal Strips or Snoreeze Nasal Spray, available at Boots. Both products work by opening the airways in your nose to provide snoring relief. The nasal spray contains a unique blend of natural active ingredients, while the nasal strips are both hypoallergenic and latex-free. You could experience up to 8 hours of peaceful, snore-free sleep.
Get healthy faster
Snoring stops you from getting a good night’s sleep. Achieving an uninterrupted 7-9 hours of sleep per night is very important for your health, especially when your immune system is fighting a cold. The act of snoring can also make a sore throat feel worse; the vibrations in the back of your throat can result in a dry, scratchy feeling.
Getting enough sleep means you can get healthy faster. Try to go to bed earlier than usual, and rest when you need to. By looking after yourself, and using a good snoring relief product, you’ll be over your cold in no time at all.
Look out for the special Snoreeze display in-store at Boots now.
It’s a well-known fact that depression can cause sleep problems. But there is also evidence of sleep problems contributing to depressive disorders. A study found that men with sleep apnoea and insomnia had a much higher rate of depressive symptoms compared with the control population. Of the 700 men examined, 43% of those with both conditions had depression.
What’s the connection?
Sleep-disordered breathing has been linked with depression for some time. Among depressed patients, insomnia is very common. The forms of insomnia can be varied, but mostly include:
Research indicates that the risk of developing depression is highest among people who have trouble staying asleep (sleep maintenance insomnia) and people with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). Sleep apnoea occurs when the muscles in the throat relax too much. The walls of the airway start to stick together, and breathing can then completely stop for around 10-30 seconds at a time.
One study assessed the quality of life in patients who had severe sleep apnoea. The results showed that compared to the normal control subjects, patients with sleep apnoea had a decreased quality of life. They tended to display symptoms that strongly correlated with depression.
Can it be treated?
Both insomnia and sleep apnoea are strongly associated with poor mental health outcomes. And depression is often misdiagnosed because many of its symptoms overlap with those of sleep apnoea. But the good news is that by treating sleep apnoea, the symptoms of depression can be improved.
Doctors often recommend a CPAP machine to treat sleep apnoea. (This works by using air pressure to force air through the breathing obstruction). However, if you find you are unable to use CPAP every night due to discomfort, another option is to wear an oral device in conjuction with it – these appliances gently move your jaw into the right position to open up your airways while you sleep.
If you suspect you’re suffering from either condition, visit your doctor as soon as possible. They’ll be able to recommend the best treatment option for you, and to confirm you are able to use an oral device. Dealing with your sleep disorder can help you feel like a new person – you’ll improve your sleep and your health.
Sleep deprivation and bad quality sleep have been linked to weight gain for years. But new research gives us much clearer reasons for why that is. Here are the five most common explanations for why you might have put on a few pounds...
1) Poor sleep is interfering with your appetite. A lack of sleep messes with the hormones that trigger and put a dampener on your appetite. A bad night’s sleep could dull the effectiveness of peptide 1, a hormone produced in your intestine that encourages you to feel full. Similarly, it could also promote the production of ghrelin, the hormone that makes you feel hungry. This leaves you with an appetite that can be hard to satisfy, even when you’ve eaten enough food.
2) Being tired makes eating feel extra pleasurable. When you’re sleep deprived, levels of endocannabinoids in your brain increase. These compounds are linked directly to your appetite, and they work on the reward system of your brain – meaning you get feelings of pleasure when you eat. (THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, also turns on these compounds. That’s why people tend to “get the munchies”.)
3) Lack of sleep messes with your gut bacteria. Changes to your gut bacteria can mess with your ability to process nutrients. During the Swedish study, scientists noticed that after just two days of sleep loss, the volunteers’ bacteria mirrored those seen in the guts of obese people.
4) Poor quality sleep makes you burn fewer calories. While studying a volunteer group, the research team found that the men burned 5-20% fewer calories after a night of no sleep. This calorie-burning was included in tasks as basic as breathing and digesting food.
5) Skimping on sleep makes you an impulsive eater. Being sleep deprived doesn’t just affect your body – it affects your eating habits too. The research team found that when people were tired, they bought food higher in calories and quantity than when they were well-rested. This is probably because sleep deprivation impairs your higher-level thinking – it boosts your chances of being impulsive.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that most adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Make sure nothing is disturbing your sleep; you could see big changes in your weight and your health.
Having a dry mouth is the main reason why people wake up with bad breath. When we go to sleep, our saliva production decreases. But many people who snore or have sleep apnoea experience severe drying of the mouth because they tend to breathe through their mouths instead of their noses. Saliva is a natural antibiotic, and a dry mouth means that bacteria are able to flourish.
When someone snores, their airway is narrowing far too much. Fast-travelling air is pulled through it when they breathe, dehydrating the tissue at the back of their throat, and causing it to vibrate. This sound is what we know as snoring. If the person’s body feels like it isn’t getting enough oxygen, it might open their mouth to try and increase the air flow. But breathing through your mouth speeds up the drying process, and it results in bad breath come morning.
How can you fix bad breath caused by snoring?
There are several options to choose from when it comes to fixing your bad breath. Using a snore guard is one method – a sort of mouldable mouth guard that encourages you to breathe through your nose by blocking your mouth. Nasal dilators can also be used: small devices that you insert up your nostrils to reduce any resistance to incoming air. However, some people can find these uncomfortable to sleep in.
Another option is to use a nasal spray, or nasal strips. If you’re breathing through your mouth because your nose is blocked, then anti-snoring nasal products will help open up your airways again. Many people with colds start to snore when they become ill – using a nasal spray or nasal strips helps them sleep peacefully through the night.
Remember: mouth-breathing isn’t normal
Breathing through your mouth is abnormal, and if you already snore, it could be a sign of a more serious condition like sleep apnoea. Visit your doctor if you’re worried about your mouth-breathing – ignoring it could lead to high blood pressure and even coronary heart disease. Dealing with your bad breath now means that you’ll reap other health benefits in years to come.
Despite the National Sleep Foundation recommending that teens get 8-10 hours of sleep per night, many are sleep deprived, and get far less. With schools and universities starting lessons early, some young people only manage 5 or 6 hours of rest before they have to wake up.
However, this has nothing to do with bad self-organisation. When puberty kicks in, new circadian rhythms do too. Teenagers experience a “delayed sleep phase”: this means that while their adolescent brains are shifting into their final developments, their circadian rhythms are reset.
Before this change, they might have felt sleepy at around 9pm or 10pm. But this shift in hormones means that they are more likely to start feeling tired from 11pm onwards, with some rhythms fluctuating as late as 1am. Even if you encouraged your teenager to go to bed early, they’d only lie awake until their own sleeping pattern kicked in.
Research has shown that nearly two thirds of young people are sleep deprived. Helping your teenager achieve a good amount of sleep is important; if a person is regularly starved of sleep, it can cause a variety of health problems like obesity, hypertension and depressive disorders. If your teen also suffers from snoring or sleep apnoea, the risk of developing these health problems increases. If you suspect your child might be waking in the night because of sleep apnoea*, you should take them to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Tips for helping your teen get a good night’s sleep include:
1) Creating a comfortable sleeping environment for them, by making sure their bedroom is cool and quiet.
2) Encouraging them to spend time outside, as natural light produces melatonin, a hormone that tells our bodies when to sleep and when to wake up.
3) Creating a routine where they can get used to going to bed and waking up at a similar time each day.
For more information on sleep deprivation and sleep apnoea, see the tab above entitled Do I Have Sleep Apnoea?
*When we sleep, our airways relax and narrow. If the airway narrows too much, fast-travelling air is pulled through the airway, causing the soft tissue in the back of our throats to become dehydrated and vibrate. This sound is called snoring. In some cases, the airway becomes so narrow that the walls of the airway stick together and close up. This usually happens for 10-30 seconds, but can occur for longer. When the airway finally opens up again, the sleeper will emit a loud, violent snore. This is known as an apnoea.If it's left untreated, sleep apnoea can become a serious condition. If you suspect that you or your child suffer from sleep apnoea, we recommend that you see your doctor as soon as possible.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults should try to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. But for those growing older, that number drops to 7-8. This might not seem like much of a difference, but as middle-age approaches, you might start to wake up in the night. This shortens your overall time spent asleep.
With hormonal changes to contend with, women will find this period in their lives an especially difficult time to nod off. Here are five reasons why you might be struggling to get a good night’s sleep.
1) Your internal clock has shifted. In our teenage years, we don’t feel the need to sleep until much later on in the night. But as you grow older, new circadian rhythms kick in, and you tend to start feeling tired earlier on. This means that you might start to feel more alert in the mornings, which can come as a surprise to former night owls.
2) You’re waking up in the night. When we get older, we become much lighter sleepers. This is because our brain waves no longer reach the same heights they used to. These high spikes make sure we slip into a deep, restorative slumber – but when our brain waves don’t climb high enough, we turn into light sleepers. As a result, people find themselves waking up frequently in the night. This problem is made even worse if your partner snores, or uses the bathroom a lot. If snoring is an issue that disturbs your sleep, you can find more information about solutions on the Products tab above.
3) You have a sleep disorder. Sleep apnoea is a frustrating condition that many people are completely unaware they suffer from. If you have a good bedtime routine, but still find yourself nodding off during the day, sleep-disordered breathing could be to blame. A decrease in your throat’s muscle tone often accompanies ageing, and this can make it harder for your airway to stay open while you sleep (causing you to snore). In some cases, the airway becomes so narrow that the walls stick together and close up. This usually happens for 10-30 seconds, but can happen for longer. When the airway finally opens up again, you’ll make a loud, violent snore. This is known as an apnoea. Because your body has to constantly wake itself up in order for you to breathe, you’ll spend the next day feeling tired and unrefreshed. If you suspect you have sleep apnoea, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can find more information on sleep apnoea on the tab above titled Do I Have Sleep Apnoea?
4) The menopause is kicking in. Hot flashes can be your worst enemy when you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep. As well as not being able to regulate your body temperature, sleep-disturbing mood disorders and snoring can also crop up as a result of menopause. You’re more at risk of developing sleep apnoea too – estrogen and progesterone maintain your airway’s muscle tone and keep it from collapsing. As these hormone levels drop, the risk of sleep apnoea increases.
5) You’ve got Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS). This is a neurological disorder that is frequently undiagnosed. If you’ve got RLS, you’ll experience a strange, restless feeling in your legs. This is followed by the uncontrollable urge to move your legs to get rid of the feeling. Lying down and trying to relax only makes the feeling worse, which is why it can stop you from getting a good night’s rest. The more this happens, the more likely you are to experience insomnia and daytime sleepiness.
Getting a healthy amount of sleep is important. If your problems persist, it’s time to talk to your doctor. Your sleep is well worth it.
Every year around 125,000 adults suffer heart attacks or stroke through high blood pressure that could be reduced if they knew to stop snoring.
You probably know that you snore. But, you might not know your blood pressure or even what your blood pressure should be. That is why Blood Pressure UK are promoting ‘Know Your Numbers Week’ starting on 18th September.
What is high blood pressure?
Your Doctor measures your blood pressure and gives it as 2 numbers. The first number measures the pressure of your blood as your heart beats and pushes blood around your body. The second figure measurers the pressure of your blood as your heart rests between beats.
If the first number is more than 90 but less than 120 and the second number is between 60 and 80, then your blood pressure reading is ideal and healthy.
However, if that first figure is between 120 and 140, then you are in ‘pre-high blood pressure’. Over 140 and you have ‘high blood pressure’. This can also be known as hypertension and is a key factor in your risk of heart attack, stroke and even kidney disease.
How is blood pressure damaging to your health?
Your blood carries oxygen from your lungs and other nutrients around your body. It needs to be under some pressure to move it through your blood vessels. The beats of your heart supply the pressure that pushes your blood through these vessels.
Snoring is a sign that your breathing is not as efficient whilst you are asleep. Inefficient breathing results in not enough oxygen getting to your lungs. Therefore, your heart has to beat harder and faster to get oxygen around your body. This extra work creates a higher than normal pressure in your blood vessels. Over worked hearts are more likely to fail, potentially sparking a fatal heart attack. Over-stressed blood vessels are more likely to leak or even burst. Blood leaking into the brain is the cause of stroke.
Research is providing more and more evidence that sleep related breathing disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) – an extreme form of the disorder characterised by heaving snoring are linked to high blood pressure.
Know your Numbers – Snoring and high blood pressure
There are about 25 million snorers in the UK. That is about 40% of the population. An estimated 1.5 million adults in the UK are thought to have the severe snoring condition OSA. 85% of these are undiagnosed and untreated. An estimated 50% of patients with hypertension also have OSA. Studies into the effect on blood pressure, for patients receiving OSA treatment showed that it is also lowered their blood pressure.
How to stop snoring and reduce your risk of hypertension
Studies indicate that taking action to reduce your snoring, or other sleep related breathing disorders, can help reduce your blood pressure and your risk of heart attack and stroke.
If you think you might have the severe sleep related breathing disorder OSA Obstructive Sleep Apnoea you should see your doctor. Stop snoring and OSA therapies might include CPAP, constant positive airway pressure and the Snoreeze Oral Device.
Snoreeze offer a range of snoring relief nasal and throat sprays, throat rinse, dissolve in the mouth oral tabs and external support nasal strips, all developed to relieve airway narrowing and increase the natural hydration of your nasal and throat lining.
For heavy snoring, the Snoreeze Oral Device helps maintain a free and silent airflow through the airways and throat, in the form of a fully adjustable mouthpiece that gently holds your jaw forward as you sleep.
*Sleep apnoea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths whilst you sleep. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typical, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. If you suspect you have OSA, we recommend you see your doctor.