Adrian Chiles open up about sleep apnoea - The effects of winter on sleep apnoea and CPAP - Send us your sleep apnoea video diary - BBC Stories: Are you holding your breath in your sleep? -Try the Snore Centre Mobile App - Michael Oko explains cardiac anatomy
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Snore Centre eNewsletter December 2019

Adrian Chiles opens up about his sleep apnoea

TV presenter Adrian Chiles has written in The Guardian about his recent sleep apnoea diagnosis and intitial struggle with adjusting to CPAP. This is something all sufferers can relate to, including his fellow famous sufferer Dom Joly, who advised him to seek medical help. Hopefully, Adrian will persevere and fell the full benefits of CPAP and finally getting a good night's sleep, as well as helping to raise awareness.

Here is an extract:

"The firm diagnosis was duly made. Apnoea means your throat muscles relax and close up and you stop breathing. Your heart soon starts struggling and (to some extent) you wake up with a start, often with your pulse racing. No wonder I was Tatt (tired all the time), as this was apparently happening to me about 20 times an hour. The CPAP machine, as I understand it, kind of senses when your throat is closing and blows it open.

"I have been using my CPAP for two weeks now. I fall asleep quite overwhelmed with serenity. Then at some point, two or three hours later, I awake in a panic, tear the mask off and go back to a troubled sleep. And that’s all I have to report at this stage, other than the sad fact that I remain decidedly Tatt."

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The effects of winter on sleep apnoea and CPAP 

An interesting blog post on this topic by Helen Clarkson:

A study carried out in Brazil found there is a 6% increase in people with sleep apnoea who report having more severe symptoms in winter compared to summer. The average number of interruptions to sleep each hour also rises in the winter to 18 times an hour from 15.

The main symptoms of sleep apnoea are frequent interruptions to sleep, loud snoring, morning headaches, concentration and irritability issues and a sore or dry throat when you awake. If you are experiencing a worsening of your sleep apnoea symptoms during winter you should consult your doctor to evaluate why and to see if you should amend your existing treatment plan.

Why Sleep Apnoea May Get Worse in Winter

Sleep apnoea is a complex disorder and there may be a number of reasons why your sleep apnoea is getting worse during winter. Naturally during the colder months there is more illness and colds flying around for you to catch. These can affect the sinus and cause nasal congestion, further blocking the upper airways while you sleep and adding to your sleep apnoea symptoms.

The colder weather sees drier air and this can also be exacerbated by some heating systems. Less moisture in the air can result in more discomfort and congestion in the airways as the mucous membranes in the nasal passage dry up. Using a wood burner to heat your home can also create air conditions which worsens your sleep apnoea symptoms.

Winter Adjustments to Help Sleep Apnoea

While studies point to an increase in reported severity of sleep apnoea symptoms in winter, it is worth remembering the main risk factors for the disorder include smoking -- so it is important to kick the habit. There are other adjustments which may lessen the impact winter may have on your sleep apnoea symptoms.

Firstly, it can be very tempting to hike up the thermostat in the home and make your rooms really hot. However, try to resist this temptation for the bedroom and look for a more comfortable cooler temperature which encourages sleep.

Admittedly, it can be hard to stay free of colds and illness during winter. But ensuring you maintain a good balanced diet and keep exercising even though the days are shorter helps boost your immune system.

The dark nights also signal less sunlight, an important source of vitamin D let alone a general feel good factor. Find time in the day to get outside, even if it is for a brief walk, as direct sunlight can help improve your sleep and improve your overall mood.

If you continue to struggle with worsening sleep apnoea symptoms over the winter months, then consult your doctor to see if you need to amend your treatment. If your symptoms are getting worse it means whichever treatment plan you are on will be less effective and this needs to be addressed.

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Send us your sleep apnoea video diary

As part of our efforts to raise awareness about sleep apnoea The Sleeping Disorders Centre is asking our patients and all sufferers of this debilitating condition to record their experience in a video diary and share it with us.

We believe that much more needs to be done to increase the public's knowledge of sleep apnoea and encourage potential sufferers to seek help. Studies have shown that obstructive sleep apnoea is often undiagnosed, and a significant percentage of sufferers continue to struggle to live with the condition unaided by effective CPAP treatment.  

If enough people who have sleep apnoea and are undergoing CPAP treatment can speak directly to the public about their experience and lead to more people recognising the symptoms in themselves and seeking help, then we can spread the word to a wider audience.

There are several ways you can do this.

Either: Send us your video via email (ideally sharing via cloud storage such as icloud, Google Drive or Dropbox, due to file size) and with your permission we can publish on our website and social media...

Or: Self publish your video on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube (or other site) and send us the link.

You can send your video or link to or share on social media with @Snore_Centre or using the hashtag #sleepapnoeadiary

BBC Stories: Are you holding your breath in your sleep?

Watch the video on the BBC

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.


Download the app for Android devices

Download the app for iOS devices

Michael Oko explains cardiac anatomy using virtual reality  ​

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