New research shows that people who play wind instruments display less signs of snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). So if you’re worried about your snoring, and a flute doesn’t appeal to you – don’t panic. You can always try a saxophone or the clarinet instead.
A study in sound
A new study split participants into two categories: people who played high resistance wind instruments (like an oboe or a trumpet) and people who didn’t play any form of wind instrument. The participants were also given a questionnaire to fill in. This was designed to assess their risk of snoring, daytime sleepiness and high blood pressure – all symptoms of sleep apnoea. All players and non-players then had their lung functions evaluated.
Interestingly, the study revealed that there was no link between improved lung functions and a lower risk of developing sleep apnoea. But there was evidence of sleep apnoea being reduced in wind instrument musicians. This is because the players tended to have increased muscle tone in their upper airways.
Why do we need good muscle tension?
We need good muscle tone to keep the upper airway open properly during the night. This stops the vibration of the soft tissue in the throat – the sound we hear as snoring.
When wind musicians play their instruments, they exercise the throat muscles that usually collapse or narrow when a person snores. Because of this strengthened muscle tone, they are less likely to develop OSA.
Reduce your risk of sleep apnoea
If you’re keeping your partner awake all night, it might be the perfect time to learn a new skill. However odd it sounds, a flute or a trumpet could be the answer to a good night’s sleep – and studies have shown that even didgeridoos can improve the symptoms of sleep apnoea.
But if picking up a new instrument seems like a little too much work, an oral device could provide you with effective relief. It works by gently holding your jaw in the right position while you sleep; this works on those muscles, opens your airway and helps you breathe easily. Another option is to use a CPAP machine. It supplies a constant stream of air through a face mask, helping to prevent your airway from collapsing.
If you suspect you might be suffering from sleep apnoea, we recommend that you visit your doctor as soon as possible. Don’t leave it to chance - your sleep and your health are worth it.
Researchers at Edinburgh and Cambridge Universities have found that high levels of magnesium in dark chocolate can help people maintain healthy biological rhythms. In human cells, magnesium levels rise and fall in a daily cycle, and the mineral has been shown to help support a healthy 24-hour clock. It also affects the cells’ rate of metabolism throughout the day.
So, treating yourself to a few pieces of dark chocolate could help you stay adapted to the rhythms of day and night – and this leads to better-quality sleep. But more often than not, snoring can still be an obstacle for people trying to achieve a full night’s sleep.
The good news
Luckily, snoring can be prevented. There are many options available to help restore peace to your bedroom. Nasal Sprays and Nasal Strips provide relief from snoring caused by congestion, and Throat Sprays and Oral Strips target the main cause of snoring – they work by lubricating the soft tissues at the back of the throat.
Even more good news
Do you want to say sorry to a partner you’ve kept awake for months? Do you want to treat yourself to chocolate and great sleep? Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and we have five tote bags packed with Choccywoccydoodah treats to give away. Each bag includes a selection of dark chocolate goodies, and a Snoreeze Throat Spray, Nasal Spray, Nasal Strips and Oral Strips.
To be in with a chance of winning, simply follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Like and share our competition post, and leave a comment telling us why you’d love to win a Snoreeze/Choccywoccydoodah goody bag. (Terms and conditions apply. This competition is open across multiple social media channels. Entries close at midday 12th February.)
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.
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.
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.
Thursday 14th September is National Quiet Day. A day for putting a little peace and tranquillity into your busy, noisy and never a quiet moment for yourself day. But to get the best from National Quiet Day you need to begin and end the day with a restful, quiet, good night’s sleep for yourself.
A good night’s sleep is essential to you getting and giving your best whether that is in your career at work, your relationships, home or your performance on the sports field.
Snoring – The noisy thief in the night!
Snoring is one the great disrupters of sleep, it will also disrupt your wellbeing by day. In a recent survey of couples, 43% said that their partner’s snoring disrupts their sleep.
This could mean one partner in almost half of UK couples starts their morning after insufficient sleep to see them through the day.
Considering that a snoring partner can generate as much noise as a nearby hand drill, lawn mower or even a motorcycle, it is not surprising that snoring is the great sleep-stealer of our times.
The good news is that 37% of snorers voiced concerns that their snoring disrupted other peoples sleep. So, there is a good chance that your snoring partner is already willing to help you help them to stop snoring.
Silent the noise that steals your sleep
It is all about vibrating air. Air passing quickly over the delicate lining of your airways causes them to vibrate – like when you blow over a thin piece of paper held in front of your mouth.
Throat and nasal cavities act as echo chambers, amplifying the vibrations until they are loud enough to wake you, your partner may sleep on regardless.
Reducing these vibrations is the way forward to a quiet night, with truly restorative sleep, resulting in a great start to your day.
Turn National Quiet Day into your personal quiet night – every night!
Two things make vibrations that cause snoring worse rather than better.
Narrowed and congested airways – Airways narrowed by sleep-relaxed muscle tone, swelling caused by allergies and blockages caused by catarrh all have the effect of forcing air to travel more quickly through what little space is left.
Dryness and dehydration – faster moving air dries out the delicate, moist lining of your throat and nasal passages. Dry surfaces vibrate more readily than moist ones and the fast moving air drives even great vibration and louder snores.
Snoreeze offer a range of snoring relief nasal and throat sprays, throat rinses, 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 heaving snoring, the Snoreeze Oral Device helps maintain a free and silent airflow through the airways of the nose and throat. Quickly and simply moulded to fit your teeth, the device is a fully adjustable mouthpiece which gently holds your jaw forward as you sleep.
Make National Quiet Day the start of your personal quite night with Snoreeze, snoring relief aids.
What Type of Snorer Are You?
Choosing the right treatment to solve your snoring problem means knowing a little about why you snore, how you snore and what makes your snoring worse. Let us help you understand what is going on and how snoring relief aids help you treat the cause of your snoring.
Snoring might seem to you like the problem itself. But really, it is only the most obvious symptom of a much more serious underlying problem. The root cause of snoring is ‘sleep disordered breathing’. The only effective way to stop your snoring is to treat the root cause.
Regular snoring can be very loud with more impact on the sleep of your partner than on yours. The main cause of this type of snoring is dehydration and relaxed airways that collapse in on themselves when you sleep. This allows the soft lining of the airways to vibrate causing the rasping sound of snoring.
Allergy, Cold and Blocked Nose Snoring
A blocked nose, cold or allergy and make you snore at certain times of the year. Allergic reactions to dust, pollen, animal material or a virus causes nasal congestion that restricts airflow through the nasal passages. Congestion can cause you to breathe your mouth drying your throat and increasing the vibrations that lead to snoring.
Snoring caused by interrupted breathing whilst sleeping
If you are suffering daytime tiredness or sleepiness during the day, or if your loud and sudden snoring frequently wakes your partner, you might be suffering the sleep related breathing disorder, sleep apnoea. The most common form of sleep apnoea, obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), is caused when lack of muscle tone in the upper airway allows it to collapse, or when the soft palate at the back of the throat partially or fully closes the airway. If you experience any of these symptoms your doctor will be able to talk to you about the available treatments.
Seasonal, occasional or now-and-again snoring
Some snoring is difficult to label or tie down to a particular time or cause. It might be you only snore when you have got a cold or had too good a night out, sleep in a strange bed or place. There might be a number of factors causing your snoring, but they are probably all made worse by nasal congestion and dryness in your throat.
Embarrassing and Away-From-Home Snoring
Snoring away from home, particularly among strangers and new acquaintances can be embarrassing. We offer compact, dry products ideal for travellers and easily carried in hand luggage.
Snoreeze snoring relief aids offer a complete range of effective products to help you stop snoring and tailored to the way you snore and the way you live.