New research indicates the effect of sleep apnoea on the heart - Sleep apnoea chin sensor diagnostic tool launched in UK - Michael Oko speaks to Look North - A review of sleep research in 2020 - Snore Centre now offers online video consultations - Is sleep apnoea a COVID risk? - - Try the Snore Centre Mobile App
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Snore Centre eNewsletter January 2021

New reseach indicates the effects of sleep apnoea on the heart

Longer nocturnal respiratory events in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) cause higher immediate heart rate variability, and greater changes in beat-to-beat intervals are associated with reduced daytime alertness, according to new research from the University of Eastern Finland.

Abnormal hyperactivation of the sympathetic nervous system affects heart function and cardiovascular regulation by increasing OSA patients’ nocturnal heart rate and by reducing their long-term heart rate variability. These changes have been shown to significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. In addition, hyperactivation of the sympathetic nervous system can prevent patients with OSA from getting enough deep, restorative sleep, which is why they often feel tired and less alert during the day. Hyperactivation of the sympathetic nervous system can keep the body in a state of alertness over the long term despite sufficient deep sleep, and this can be seen in, e.g., elevated daytime heart rate in patients with OSA.

Two recent studies from the University of Eastern Finland have explored the immediate effect of respiratory events on heart rate variability, as well as the association of OSA patients’ nocturnal heart rate changes with their alertness.

A study published in Scientific Reports yesterday shows that the type and duration of individual respiratory events has an effect on heart rate and heart rate variability both during and after the event. A longer duration of a respiratory event caused greater changes in heart rate as well as higher ultra-short-term heart rate variability, and both of these changes were greater during complete obstruction of the airway.

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Sleep apnoea chin sensor diagnostic tool launched in UK

Sunrise, is a certified medical smart sensor and offers sleep science at the tip of the chin to provide results equivalent to the polysomnography used in laboratory conditions.

In collaboration with institutions such as the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London and £4.8 million investment, Sunrise is clinically proven to ensure that sleep disorder sufferers receive a quick, cost-effective and complete diagnosis. To relieve the NHS from pressure amid the pandemic and while most sleep laboratories are currently closed, the technology provides a medically certified alternative for conventional sleep apnoea tests.

How the Sunrise sleep apnoea test works:

  1. The user places the device securely on the chin before heading to sleep. 
  2. The sensor records data collected whilst the user is asleep to generate a thorough report shared the next day that highlights possible sleep apnoea or other sleep conditions through the partnering Sunrise app.
  3. Users are then offered the choice to connect with sleep physicians, and receive treatment when needed. 

By measuring the movements in the chin, Sunrise allows everyone to perform a clinical test from home in a natural sleeping environment with the non-invasive small smart device, powered by AI technology. Tests start from £49 for single use and alleviate individuals from sleeping in a hospital bed connected to endless wires. 

The brainchild of sleep specialist Dr. Jean-Benoit Martinot and the result of over a decade's worth of research, the Belgian tech start-up aims to make professional medical grade sleep tests accessible to everyone. In a clinical study, published in JAMA and authored by international sleep apnoea experts, Sunrise’s technology has demonstrated industry-leading performances among home sleep tests. Following its launch in France and Belgium, Sunrise has to date successfully served nearly 10,000 consumers with a desire for a good night's sleep."

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Michael Oko speaks to Look North about how to stay healthy in case of COVID-19 infection

A review of sleep research in 2020

The Lancet has published a useful summary of the major research into sleep published in 2020:

2020 has been an unprecedented year because a modified coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), spread rapidly from China to all continents, leading to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first studies of COVID-19-associated sleep disorders were reported in China. 

Huang and Zhao collected information from a survey of 7236 volunteers (mean age 35·3 years [SD 5·6]). About a third of them were health-care workers. About 35% of these participants reported symptoms of general anxiety, 20% of depression, and 18% of poor sleep quality. The participants who were most worried about the pandemic also reported the most symptoms. Health-care workers were clearly under great pressure, which was reflected in the high prevalence of mental-health symptoms that they reported.

The increased prevalence of sleep disorders in 2020 has also been highlighted in several other publications from different countries. These studies examined the effect on sleep of SARS-CoV-2 infection and confounders related to isolation, quarantine, anxiety, stress, or financial losses. According to a European task force, symptoms of insomnia could be related to psychosocial factors and to the confinements.

In Italy, anxiety related to COVID-19 was highly associated with disturbed sleep. In a survey of 2291 Italians, 57·1% reported poor sleep quality, 32·1% high anxiety, 41·8% high distress, and 7·6% reported post-traumatic symptoms of stress.

In the International COVID-19 Sleep Study, different factors are being investigated using a harmonised set of questions. Insomnia, nightmares, sleep apnoea, fatigue, exhaustion, and REM sleep behaviour disorder are being investigated by this collaboration. The hypothesis is that fatigue, sleepiness, and REM sleep behaviour disorder might be related to SARS-CoV-2 infection per se, whereas insomnia might be related mainly to confinement, anxiety, and other psychosocial factors.

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Snore Centre now offers online video consultations via Doctify

Given the current crisis with many people's movements severely restricted The Snore Centre has set up an online consultation service in partnership with Doctify

Patients can now access our first class sleep service from their own homes without having to risk travel or attending a clinic in person.

Doctify is revolutionising the global healthcare market, enabling patients to search, book and review clinics and hospitals online. They strongly believe in the benefit of patient reviews and how they strengthen the patient-specialist relationship: empowering people to make informed decisions, as well as recognising the exceptional dedication of clinics and hospitals.


Have You Tried Our Mobile App?


Keep up with all the latest news and research on sleep apnoea from the Sleeping Disorders Centre with this nifty free app. Here you can find all our social media channels (YouTube/Facebook/Twitter/Blog) all in one place, right on your phone.

Be sure to let us know what you think of our app by leaving a review on iTunes or the Google Play Store. All your feedback is valuable to us.


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