Sleep apnoea is a condition in which a person stops breathing, either completely or somewhat, over and over again during sleep. These interruptions in breathing can be several seconds or even minutes long. The pauses in breathing disturb the normal sleep pattern and, if they are long enough, drop the oxygen level in the blood, eventually leading to other medical problems.
There are two main types of Sleep Apnoea:
In Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), the snorer is more or less strangled regularly during sleep. Imagine the part between the back of the nose and the voice-box as a hose pipe. Right, now imagine this hose pipe being frequently narrowed or closed off by negative pressure as the air inside is sucked out repeatedly. Something very similar happens to the air passage when a person has OSA.
In reality, the negative pressure happens when the snorer breaths in. The air passage closes off because the muscles holding it open are less active during sleep. Also, fatty tissue on the outside of the “hose pipe” can narrow the passage, making it easier to get blocked. Being overweight by only a few kilograms can significantly increase your chances of snoring, that can then develop into OSA.
When the air passage closes off, the snorer struggles to breathe and wakes up – gasping for air. The obstruction is then over, and normal breathing can carry on, allowing the snorer to fall asleep again. This happens over and over again during the night.
We all have heard a sleeping person snoring loudly, and then becomes quite, and starts breathing again with a gasp or snort. This is the classic description of a person with OSA. If severe enough, symptoms can include mood swings, depression, feeling tired, even when you’ve had plenty of sleep, and morning headaches.
The second and less common type of sleep apnoea is Central Sleep Apnoea (CSA) in which there are pauses in breathing during sleep without obstruction to the air passage. In this instance, the brain “forgets” to send signals to the lungs to breathe. Since blockage of the air passage is not required to produce CSA, snoring is usually not a major symptom and may not be at all. CSA is usually the result of other medical conditions like some brain disorders, heart failure, drugs like sleeping tablets, or narcotics that restrain brain activity.
Both OSA and CSA can occur in the same person. When this happens, OSA is usually more severe than CSA.
Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea:
[Illustration of listed symptoms]
Here at Snoreeze, we believe that sleep is essential. That is why we offer a wide range of snoring relief products to suit everybody. You can visit our products page here and target the main cause of snoring. All products are available online without the need for a prescription.
Our recent survey, carried out by YouGov, the results showed us where the highest percentage of snorers in the UK come from. We conducted our questions to 12 regions across the land, and found out that the North East has the highest percentage of snorers with a massive 78%. And with a population of over 2.5 million – that is a lot of snorers.
Of the 78% of snorers in the North East:
Looking at these statistics, there are a lot of snorers in the North East that can cause so many relationships issues. Despite this, only 7% of couples with a snoring partner purchased a snoring relief product. This means that there are a lot of partners across the North East being disturbed, and a lot of relationships left to suffer.
Also, a lot of people are unaware that they may suffer from Sleep Apnoea. For further information on Sleep Apnoea, visit our page Do I Have Sleep Apnoea?
What Can I Do About Snoring?
Find out why your partner (Or yourself) snore in our About Snoring section
Make sure to have your 8 hours of sleep. Here at Snoreeze we challenge you to have a good night’s sleep.
Make a Snoreeze product part of your bedtime routine.
Snoring could not only have a negative impact on your personal life, but your professional life too.
Here are 5 reasons why your snoring problem could end up getting you the sack:
38% of people struggle to get out of bed after a disturbed night’s sleep. The bedtime battle where your partner repeatedly nudges you to silence your snores leaves you both getting little sleep. No wonder your get-up-and-go has got-up-and-gone the next morning. Risk factors like smoking and drinking alcohol can increase your chance of snoring. If you find that you snore more whilst on your back, try sleeping on the side and placing a pillow behind you to stop you rolling back.
54% of people say they are more irritable after a disturbed night’s sleep. After being jabbed in the ribs 47 times in the night, it’s no wonder you’re more likely to snap at your boss. And with 24% of people claiming to be more emotionally sensitive than normal, you can’t rule out an emotional breakdown by the watercooler. For most people, snoring is caused by relaxed muscle tension at the back of the throat. Products like throat sprays and throat rinses can help to tighten and lubricate the soft tissues, preventing snoring.
If you are sat staring into space, your boss might be under the impression that you are slacking. But perhaps they should be blaming your partner for whacking you with a pillow each time you let out a snore. 48% of people surveyed said they found it harder to concentrate after a disturbed night’s sleep, with 34% admitting they are less productive at work. If you snore when you’ve got a cold or are suffering from allergies, nasal snoring relief products can really help. Nasal spray helps to decongest your nasal passages and nasal strips help to open your airways, so you can breathe more easily and shouldn’t snore.
Even if you don’t have a partner to wake you at night, recent studies have found that snoring alone causes the snorer to suffer daytime sleepiness[i]. The exact reason for this is still up for debate. It could be down to fatigue caused by the increased effort of breathing, or being in a constantly light sleep due to the noise you’re making. If you regularly travel with work, taking a snoring spray in your bag can be a bit inconvenient. Things like oral strips and lozenges would give you a more practical solution. They fit easily in to your hand luggage and work on the same principal as other throat products, tightening and lubricating the soft tissues to stop you snoring.
Sleeping on the job is always going to get you in big trouble with your boss. But, if you snore and find yourself drifting off when you don’t intend to (like at your desk or while driving), it could be a sign of something serious. Sleep apnoea is a condition where your airway relaxes and narrows so much that airflow to your lungs is stopped. You end up having broken sleep as your brain wakes you to reopen the airway. Sleep apnoea is linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and depression – so there is much more at stake than losing your job. If you’re suffering from mild/moderate sleep apnoea, something as simple as the Snoreeze Oral Device (it’s a bit like a gum-shield) can keep your airway open at night, helping you to breathe normally and stopping your snoring.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,058 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15th - 16th October 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
[i] Daniel J. Gottlieb, Qing Yao, Susan Redline, Tauqeer Ali, Mark W. Mahowald. "Does Snoring Predict Sleepiness Independently of Apnea and Hypopnea Frequency?" American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol. 162, No. 4 (2000), pp. 1512-1517.