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Don’t put up with your partner’s snoring

PUBLISHED: 15:54 24 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:06 24 September 2018

Snoring can destroy relationships        Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Snoring can destroy relationships Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Quality not quantity is what counts.

Sleep apnoea causes daytime cat-napping            Picture: Getty Images/iStockphotoSleep apnoea causes daytime cat-napping Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Far too many of us crawl out of bed each morning in a zombie like state reaching for a cup of coffee to perk us up and feeling like we could do with more sleep.

Whether it’s our partner snoring like a freight train or lying awake worrying about the next day, sleep deprivation seems to dominate our conversations and our lives.

But researchers from the University of Oxford recently revealed that we are actually getting more sleep than we did four decades ago. Nicky Barrell asks is it quality not quantity that matters?

The Journal of Sleep Research published study found that the average time that Brits spent asleep has increased from 7 hrs 23 mins to 8 hrs 6 mins over the past four decades.

Whilst employed people slept an extra 45 minutes a night, it also found that retirees slept an additional 27 mins in the studies from 1974 to 2015.

The findings are due to a decline in what the researchers described as “work-sleep conflict” in that we are now finding it easier to balance the demands of work with a good night’s sleep.

But according to the Sleep Apnoea Trust feeling restored after a night’s sleep is based on the quality not how much sleep you get.

Sleep apnoea affects up to 4 million people across the UK with only 1 million diagnosed and East Anglia has one of the highest rates in the country.

Symptoms range from lack of attention and excessive sleepiness to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, depression and loss of sex drive.

“People are getting bigger in the UK and obesity is a major contributing factor to the increase in obstructive sleep apnoea – we are now seeing in the UK the same levels of sleep apnoea which were seen in America seven years ago,” said Sleep Apnoea Trust managing secretary Chris Rogers.

At 6ft 3 inch, ex rugby player and business man know only too well the impact of sleep apnoea, he was forced by his colleagues to stay in a separate hotel because of his loud snoring. “When I snored the whole of England knew about it.”

And would fall asleep at inappropriate times In the days of Mrs Thatcher it was called cat napping but now people realise it is an illness.”

It was only when he went to his GP and onto a sleep clinic that he discovered he would stop breathing 55 times every hour. Now Chris uses a CPAP machine which pumps air slightly about normal pressure enabling him to breathe through the night and wake up in the morning feeling refreshed.

So if you’re worried about your lack of sleep or are being kept awake by your partners snoring – you don’t have to suffer in silence.

Fill in a simple questionnaire (Epworth sleeping scale) and contact your GP if the score is over 10.

Sleep apnoea: Find out if you are at risk

History of Sleep

Around 70,000-40,000 BC, Neanderthal man stopped polyphasic (multiple rest-activity) cycles in a 24-hour period and adopted monophasic (sleep at night, awake by day) patterns instead.

Early civilisations such as Mesopotamia, India, Egypt and China used remedies including chanting, blood-letting and herbs to regulate sleep patterns and dreams.

20th century scientists Rechtschaffen and Kales scored stages of sleep - our deepest sleep (AKA slow-wave sleep) consists of stages 3 and 4 of non-REM stages. If you’re woken from slow-wave sleep you are more typically tired.

How much sleep should we get?

• Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours each day

• Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours

• Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours

• Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours

• School age children (6-13): 9-11 hours

• Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours

• Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours

• Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours

• Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours

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