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Know your number; snoring, blood pressure and your health

Numbers

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.

 

How snoring could raise your risk of dementia

Alzheimer's Research UK say keeping active and maintaining a healthy diet are two ways to reduce your risk of dementia, but did you know that reducing your snoring can have an impact too?

 

Dementia: the facts

  • 46.8 million people worldwide are living with some form of dementia.  
  • By 2050 this figure is estimated to reach a staggering 131.5 million.
  • A UK study has estimated that the health and social care costs for dementia almost match the combined costs of cancer, heart disease and stroke.

Dementia Statistics

Age is the biggest risk factor for dementia, with 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 suffering with the condition.  Life expectancy in the UK is rising every year, meaning that dementia is set to become a bigger problem than ever.

 

Poor sleep and dementia

Poor sleep has been found to be a risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia.  This means that getting a decent amount of uninterrupted sleep is vital not only for our physical health, but our mental health too. 

Poor sleep is a risk factor for cognitive decline

How could my snoring affect my partner's dementia risk?

Snoring is a problem that can get worse with age.  As we get older muscle tone decreases all over our bodies, even in our airways!  This means that the soft tissues in your upper airway are much more likely to vibrate as you breathe; causing the snoring sound.  

If you sleep next to a partner, snoring can become a real bugbear in your relationshipNot only does your partner get woken by your snoring, but they probably wake you to stop you snoring too! 

Recent studies have shown links between sleepiness and sleep inadequacy and Alzheimer's disease.  So, waking your partner throughout the night with your snoring could not only be affecting your relationship, but their health too.

 

How could my snoring affect my dementia risk?

If you snore heavily, it can be a sign of an obstruction in your airway.  If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea, this obstruction is so severe that the flow of oxygen is reduced or completely stopped while you sleep.  

The diagram below shows just how snoring and sleep apnoea (OSA) can be a sign of your problems breathing properly at night.

The difference between normal breathing, snoring, and apnoea

A study published in the journal Neurology this year found that sleep disordered breathing advanced cognitive decline in the elderly, so making sure your breathing is not obstructed is important to your health

  

How can I stop snoring having an impact?

Products from the Snoreeze Oral Range are designed to tighten and lubricate the soft tissues at the back of the throat, reducing or preventing the snoring that can worsen as we age.  These products can help those with a mild to moderate snoring problem to sleep quietly, reducing the impact snoring has on you and your partner.  

For those with a more severe snoring problem, sprays and other similar treatments may not prove effective.  If you are suffering from severe snoring or mild to moderate sleep apnoea, the Snoreeze Oral Device can really help by making sure you airway does not collapse, creating free space at  the back of your throat and ensuring air can flow through easily while you sleep.  

How the Snoreeze Oral Device stops snoring

The good news is that studies show treatment of sleep apnoea decreases the cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer's. So, it's never too late for snoring and sleep apnoea treatment to have a positive impact on not only your sleep, but your mind and body.  

 

 

 

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