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Sleepless in Stansted

OK OK, not quite as exotic sounding as Sleepless in Seattle (am I showing my age?!) but, here I am, in a hotel room near Stansted which I’m sharing with my two kids and, when he gets back from the party we were attending earlier, my husband too.

And here’s the thing. I’ve had a really busy week, I’m absolutely shattered and the kids have clearly missed the memo that Mummy would REALLY love an early night. After all, if I can’t be at the party, then perhaps I can treat myself with some extra sleep?!

Yes, as The Snoring Lady (and passionate sleep fanatic) I’m one of those precious few who openly recognise and extol the virtues of sleep. Hey, maybe I should get a T shirt with an appropriate slogan… but what would it say? “Keep calm I’ve had 8 hours?”

The irony is that I know how important sleep is, yet, just like everyone else, I often will stay up later than my body wants as I ‘just’ want to watch that film or do that little extra piece of work. And I should know better! But I still do …
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Sleep apnoea kills*

It was sad to see in the news today that Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher died from sleep apnoea and “other causes” according to the Los Angeles coroner. However, her death certificate states she suffered a cardiac arrest, and in a statement the LA coroner said the exact cause was unknown.[1]
For me, as someone passionate about raising awareness of the damage sleep apnoea can do, it is especially sad to hear that sleep apnoea was involved.
But note, that even though sleep apnoea was listed as a cause of death[2], it was not marked as such on the death certificate… because * sleep apnoea doesn’t normally kill people, but it exacerbates conditions, so undiagnosed/untreated sleep apnoea sufferers will die of stroke or heart attack, for example.

My question then is does sleep apnoea not get the recognition, does it not have the level of awareness in the general public BECAUSE it is not listed as a cause of death? Imagine if the evening news stated that there had been a 10% increase in dea…

The stress of new year resolutions!

It’s 2017 – Happy New Year everyone!
Let’s face it, at the beginning of the year pretty much everyone bangs on about changing this and improving that… and there’s a massive part of me that wants to do the same.
I’m a full-time working mum with a 4 year old and 1 year old (who doesn’t sleep through the night yet) so whilst I’d love to walk to work, go to the gym, drink less GnT and eat less chocolate, I’ve also got to keep it realistic. 

I could walk to work, but I also have to do the school run, so the logistics don’t work, and frankly with a full time job, a home and young children my will-power at the end of the day isn’t the greatest.
Anyone with me? (Or am I just a bit rubbish?)
I’m actually ok with it, and if I don’t have unrealistic goals, I won’t have that sinking feeling mid-January/February realising that so early into the year I’ve not achieved my aims.
However, what I am committing to this year is having more ‘me’ time. 
Now before you switch off... (I know more wanting 'me ti…

I want it now... I'll worry about the cost later

The launch of the Amazon 'Dash button' got me thinking... I love that the Internet of Things is happening... but what does it say about us?

Press a button and 'ta-da' the thing that you need is delivered the next day.

As a working mum, it's great that re-ordering could be made so easy... put one of these buttons on the washing machine and when you're running low on detergent, press the button and new detergent arrives.
But is this indicative of our need for immediacy?We want an immediate 'cure' for this and 'fix' for that. Don't want the sustained effort of calorie reduction and exercise? - No, I'll have a pill please.

This is what I see increasingly in medicine and healthcare. We're increasingly impatient to wait for a doctors appointment, so we Google our symptoms, and no doubt scare ourselves to death that we have some terrible condition... and succumb to the latest quick fix. We self diagnose ourselves rather than waiting to speak wi…

Our cultural problem with technology is affecting our health

Today is World Wide Web Day. Hoorah. I'm such a fan. I love online shopping (much easier with 2 small children), I'm always using social media, and I love music and video on demand. I get drawn into the latest gadget and I'm passionate about how the web has the ability to be inclusive... so don't get me wrong, I love technology. Oh, and without it I'd not be able to blog! :-) 

However, we need to be aware of the flip side to the myriad of benefits the web brings us. I believe that the web and associated technologies are literally crippling us. Our need to be permanently switched on and our fixation with screens has a physical affect (so called 'text neck') and it goes further than that. It affects our sleep, which in turn affects just about every aspect of life, from health to happiness. 

Blue light (that's the light that comes from our smart phones, tablets, laptops, most TVs etc) blocks the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, inevitably causing …

Why is snoring so embarrassing?

Why is it that no one wants to 'fess up' to snoring?

Tell someone that they snore and you'll probably get rebuffed (or some slightly less polite variant!). Or you'll be told that you snore, etc etc.. and so it disintegrates into a "who snores more" competition.

The statistics on snoring vary greatly, from 25%-50% of the population being affected, and I'd suggest that many more people will occasionally snore - perhaps after a few too many alcoholic drinks, certain over the counter medications etc.

So if this is such a common issue, why aren't we more open about it?

I hope that in time it will be a bit like mental health and one day we will feel happier to talk about it. Is it because it is something that happens in the bedroom, and we're usually pretty tight-lipped about that!

Snoring might be just anti-social... noisy and disturbing for those around you, but it could also be a symptom of sleep apnoea, which has connections to so many health issues that…

Zzzz does not mean good sleep

Houston, we have a problem.

OK, the problem is not at NASA - it's bigger than that. In books, cartoons and films, snoring is used to show that someone is asleep... (think Zzzzzzzzs coming out of their mouths in a speech bubble, and noisy snoring and you've got the picture.)

My 4 year old son is already aware that snoring isn't good (poor boy!) - he now points it out when we read a book together. 

The problem is that if you're snoring you're not breathing properly... 
and this will be disrupting your own sleep and that of those around you. (Have you ever tried to sleep when you can hear a snorer?!)

So, let's start a revolution. Let's stop signifying sleep with snoring. It's fundamentally wrong and it is reinforcing the misplaced belief that snoring can be ignored. More on that another time!

Take it easy.