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.
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.
Snoring and nasal congestion – what is nasal congestion?
‘If only I could breathe through my nose, I would stop snoring now!’
How many times have you thought that? Blowing your nose is like trying to force your way through heavy traffic by driving closer to the car in front. It just makes congestion worse.
That is because the amount of catarrh in your nose, is only half of the congestion problem.
Nasal congestion causes snoring – Snoring worsens nasal congestion
It is a vicious circle. Snoring is the sound of your body struggling to force air through too narrow airways. Your narrowed airways collapse inwards with a loud rasping snore and become dry, sore and swollen. Your body tries to protect the dry and inflamed membranes by over-producing the thick, sticky substance you recognise as catarrh.
Heavy catarrh plus narrowed airways make congestion. A cold, hay fever or other allergy will make that congestion worse and make you snore even more.
Opening your airways eases nasal congestion and relieve snoring
Snoreeze natural ingredients are formulated to ease congestion, relieve the discomfort of dry soreness by helping you breathe freely and easily through open airways.
Natural peppermint extracts, menthols and eucalyptus oils in Snoreeze snoring relief oral strips, nasal and throat sprays reduce inflammation, soothe dry soreness and ease nasal congestion.
Break the vicious circle of nasal congestion and problem snoring. Breathe more easily, rest more easily and snore less with Snoreeze.
In the UK, there are over three million people living with diabetes. 90% of those have type 2. The main risk factors for type 2 diabetes include being overweight or obese. Weight gain increases mass around the neck that will narrow the throat causing the muscles to weaken, restricting the ability to breathe freely. Snoring or sleep apnoea can become a result. Being overweight by only a few kilograms can considerably increase your chances of snoring. You hold the key to managing diabetes by making lifestyle changes.
The International Diabetes Federation have studied a link between type 2 diabetes and sleep apnoea.
These facts are included on their website:
If you’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you’ll need to look after your health from now on. The first step is to look at your diet and lifestyle and make significant changes.
Here are the main areas that you’ll need to look closely at:
If you stay fit and active, you may be able to prevent type 2 diabetes developing by making the above lifestyle changes.
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.