Here is the link to our new video explaining the steps to apply and remove sleepQ+ : https://player.vimeo.com/exter
Updated December 8th 2016. By Dr Nancy Markley
Snoring is often regarded as a condition which only affects adults, but it is also something which can and does affect children. While it has been estimated that 45% of the population are snorers (with 25% of adults being habitual snorers), the Sleep Foundation estimates that anywhere from 10 to 12% of children are habitual snorers.
This makes snoring a familial problem, especially now, as school is about to start up once again for North American children. Regardless of who may be the snorer, any disruption to one’s sleep can have short term and long term negative consequences.
The Affects of Sleep Disruption in Children
Children and teenagers need more sleep than the average adult. However, a glaring number of children are not receiving nearly enough sleep per night for a number of reasons, including family schedules, the use of electronics and disruptive living arrangements.
Below is a quick guide provided by the Sleep Foundation for how much sleep your child likely needs in order to properly function the next day:
Researcher Rebecca G. Astill from the Department of Sleep and Cognition at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience studied more than 35,000 children between the ages of 5 and 12 to examine how sleep can affect school performance and behavior. In the study Astill found the following to be true in the majority of children who did not receive enough sleep:
Differences Between Adult and Child Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation tends to appear differently in children than in adults. Children who are sleep deprived tend to be moody, obstinate and “wired”. These children often have a difficult time sitting still and focusing, which in part may explain for poor academic performance.
It is also well known that sleep deprived children also have a more difficult time socially and tend to have a harder time getting along with their peers.
Recent research also found that some children who have or had been diagnosed with ADHD were actually sleep deprived. One study found that children who suffered from breathing conditions like snoring or apnea were anywhere from 40 to 100% more likely than normal breathing children to develop behavioral problems, which resembled ADHD.
Placing a Strain on the Family
Having a child with ADHD or similar symptoms can place a strain on not only the relationship between a parent and a child, but it can be stressful for the entire family. Parents may find themselves constantly feeling the need to “police” their ADHD child, but any other children or relationships may be negatively impacted.
Heading Into Work Sleep Deprived
If your child is having difficulties sleeping at night because they snore (or someone else in the home is snoring and waking them up at night), that alone is taxing. But you heading into work while sleep deprived can also be challenging.
One issue which most sleep-deprived parents do not recognize is that being tired means that our reaction times are slower. This can increase a parents’ risk of being in a car accident while traveling to his or her job or making an error while traveling which can impact the health and safety of themselves as well as co-workers.
Another issue is that tired parents are those who cannot focus at work. Fatigue has a direct impact on how productive we are both physically and mentally, which can lead to a variety of negative outcomes such as:
Fatigue also means that we tend to fall back on old habits, both good and bad. This is because when we sleep, it is more difficult for us to gain control over our actions.
Snoring Is a Family Problem
Whether your child, your partner or yourself is the snorer in the household, one thing is for certain: snoring is a family problem.
Snoring in adults and children often happens for the same reason: the muscle in the upper airway relaxes during sleep, which causes the airway to collapse. As you or your child takes a breath, it will cause an unsteady movement of air, which then vibrates the palate tissues, nose, and throat, causing a rattling snoring sound.
The most important step for families to take is to make sure that whoever in the home is a habitual snoring receives proper medical treatment. Many families will discover that their child has sleep apnea (this will be confirmed by an ear, nose and throat specialist) and surgery to remove enlarged tonsils and adenoids is often a satisfactory solution.
Updated November 21st 2016
Digital Nomad Sarah Hornsby talks about Facial Structure & sleepQ+
Click here to see what Sarah says
Updated March 25 2017
Last updated: 04/11/2016
In bed with the sleep guru to the stars. He has helped everyone to get a decent kip, from Laura Trott to Cristiano Ronaldo. Hannah Betts The Times October 20 2016 Hannah Betts with the sleep expert Nick Littlehales
I am in a rage. It is a slow rage, devoid of energy — fuelled, as it is, by a fitful four and a half hours’ sleep — and could easily transform into tears of wretchedness. Yet for now it’s a rage: smouldering, suppurating, clotted with expletives.
The object of my fury is Nick Littlehales, an esteemed sleep coach to the sporting elite and author of the latest guide to getting a good night’s rest. As an insomniac I have many issues with this book, all of them based on my being a complete nut job.
First, there is the sporting element. Clients including as Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo, Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins, Victoria Pendleton and Laura Trott may cut the mustard with some, but I’m afraid my attitude is: “Infantilised jocks with no lives.”
Second, there is the routine aspect. Littlehales proposes rest — sorry, “recovery” — periods, scheduled according to sleep cycles. I resist the maths as hotly as I dismiss the idea of structure, both likely to drive insomniacs such as myself to hysteria.
Third, I really don’t like being told what to do, which, as you can imagine, is rather the point. Alas, when he turns up, Littlehales is an extremely amiable chap — funny, interesting and not in the least bit bossy, making it tragically impossible to hate him. And, of course, it was never Nick I detested, but myself, faced with another night, week, year of jagged unrest.
“I mean, it begins to drive you quite mad,” I confess, eye twitching. “Of course it does,” he soothes, his face radiating a messianic benevolence. “But there are things that we can do — really, Hannah.”
Even for someone as annoying as me? “Even for someone as annoying as you.”
Nick maintains napping can be done with eyes open, in meetings
Born in Birmingham, Littlehales is a spry 56, with a third grandchild on the way. He started life as a salesman, before being elevated to international sales and marketing director for the bed company Slumberland.
A letter to the Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson in the late Nineties inquiring as to the team’s sleep science — then nil — led to him becoming the squad’s first “sleep coach”, a term coined by the press, which enjoyed fantasies about pampered players being tucked in at night.
In fact, it was the beginning of a more technical approach to sport that took in the sciences of sleep, nutrition, physiotherapy and the like, to generate the marginal gains that could make all the difference to performance. Witness British Cycling becoming so unbeatable that lesser countries accuse us of foul play.
Man United players introduced Littlehales to the England squad, and there ensued a 20-year career advising the stars of the football field and the velodrome, of rugby, cricket, rowing, sailing, bobsleigh, archery and BMX — plus consultancies with companies as diverse as Unilever and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Littlehales refers to his method as the R90 system. The R stands for “recovery”, because that sounds like a more active and athletic process than the passive “sleep”, while the 90 refers to the duration in minutes of a sleep cycle (also a football match, which played well with the jocks).
“Humans have used five major sleep-wake cycles,” he tells me. “Four of these have been polyphasic — sleeping multiple times over a 24-hour period à la hunter-gatherers or farmers — and only one monophasic — our current, one-block approach, introduced with the advent of artificial light. And yet, our world, and our bodies’ natural rhythms, are far better suited to the polyphasic approach.”
Accordingly, our hero maintains that we should stop thinking about sleep in terms of hours, and instead perceive it in 90-minute cycles of, say, 35 a week. Then, if we miss out on a couple of cycles, we can catch up via napping, or “controlled recovery periods”, in chunks of 90 or 30 minutes.
The Olympic cyclist Laura Trott is one of Littlehales’s clients.
Littlehales loves napping, which he maintains can be achieved with one’s eyes open, during meetings, a time-out he achieves by manipulating a special pebble in his pocket. This strikes me as the kind of activity that might get one thrown out of the average meeting.
He also supplies his clients with a series of boy’s toys tailored to meet their needs. First up is the Valkee HumanCharger, a tiny, iPod-like headset created by Finnish geeks to beam light into your ears in 12-minute spurts, inducing an instant serotonin boost. I want one, badly.
Oxygen-rich nasal breathing is healthier than mouth breathing, so he also has with him the Rhinomed Turbine, a device that is inserted into the nose to inflate the nostrils. It has a peculiarly porcine effect, and terrifies me so much that I stop breathing altogether and start to pass out.
Finally, he brandishes a tube of SleepQ+. "It’s a lip gel used by athletes who don’t want to tape their mouths to eliminate mouth breathing. It creates stickiness every time the lips come together.” He demonstrates.
The other tools of his trade are less hi-tech. Tart cherry capsules chock-full of melatonin; and potassium, magnesium and tryptophan hits in the form of the “banana tea craze”. (Me neither. Google it, and remember you heard it here first.) Balancing one’s caffeine at a steady 400mg, rather than spending the day bingeing and crashing, has also proved invaluable to sporting types.
Punters love to dwell on these tricks, including Littlehales building futuristic “sleep pods” for the players — actually machine-washable, sleeping bag-cum-mattresses, available for £695 on his website. However, he maintains that the heart of what he does is “basic education”, given that we all know so little about so fundamental a process.
I seize my opportunity. “Some of us know a lot about sleep,” I wail. “Too much! And this focus on cycles and structure is likely to make us froth-mouthed maniacs even more neurotic. This kind of thing may work with the steroidal man babies you’re used to dealing with, but it could never do the trick with the sleep deprived. This is the sportification of sleep, of life, of everything!”
I’m an extreme owl and I’m partnered with an extreme lark.
He lets me grind to a drooling halt, with a passing chuckle over “man babies”. “I know you hate consistency, but the point of the R90 system isn’t routine. It’s a balance between things you can do to improve and becoming completely obsessed. The structure is there, but then it fades away and frees you up. This can work for the impulsive and irreverent too. OK, you’re a classic owl, so say you set a daily wake time of 9.30am, with an earlier slot of 8am where necessary. Then you count back in cycles: 6.30, 5.00, 3.30, 2.00, 12.30. So, ideally, you’d start your 90-minute wind-down at 11pm, be asleep by 12.30am, then up at 8am or 9.30, and start work an hour and a half later.
“And the wind-down and wind-up doesn’t mean doing nothing. It’s your time so you can eat, hydrate, chat to friends, or go to the gym — just so long as you don’t expect to start fully functioning.” I sense I’m losing the argument here.
“OK, but I’m an extreme owl, partnered with an extreme lark whose wake time is 6.30am. Are we doomed?” A look crosses Littlehales’s face that suggests that the answer to this question is: “Very much so, yes.” Still, he perseveres: “Then you compromise and both get up at 8am. He can make breakfast when you’re tired, you can make dinner when he’s whacked, and both of you can compensate with naps.” A thought occurs to me: “Wait, are you napping now? He declines to answer.
The R90 advocates cheaper mattresses replaced often, rather than the blow-out-every-decade-or-so approach. Indeed, he demonstrates that my lovely expensive model is no use at all, as it fails to let my body sink down into it, leaving my neck painfully unaligned. It is a fault that can be corrected with strategic use of 5 and 7cm toppers of the sort that he sells on his website, or spare duvets. Littlehales cradles my face in his palm to demonstrate the correct spinal arrangement, and — maybe it’s the foetal position he has put me into, or maybe it’s the man himself — finally, I feel able to submit.
Sleep by Nick Littlehales published by Penguin on October 27, £9.99, www.sportsleepcoach.com
Last updated: 24/10/2016
If you’re an ambitious athlete that’s looking to gain that extra edge over your opponents then this post on sleep quality and recovery could be the performance advantage you’ve been waiting for.
Sleep management, and how it affects an athlete’s recovery after training and competing, is often limited to creating a strict sleeping schedule, sleeping at least 8 hours every night and waking up at the same time every morning to train. Theoretically, maintaining this regime will result in your body having recovered 100% overnight and be ready for more training the next day.
Sadly, this limited understanding of sleep may have resulted in thousands of athletes underperforming without knowing why. Recent research has indicated that simply breathing through your nose as opposed to breathing though your mouth when asleep may increase sleep quality and boost recovery immensely.
Here are the 3 ways mouth breathing during sleep impedes recovery and ultimately an athlete’s performance.
When you sleep your body transitions through several stages of sleep starting with NREM or light sleep and eventually into REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. REM sleep is the stage athletes need to maximize because it’s the stage where Human Growth Hormone is released into the body.
Human Growth Hormone assists in repairing damaged or stressed muscles and muscle tissue, which helps to boost recovery. However, research has shown that mouth breathing while sleeping interrupts sleep more than anything except stress and each interruption or arousal delays the release of Human Growth Hormone, meaning that your muscles’ ability to grow and repair is significantly hindered when mouth breathing.
If you want to ensure a quicker recovery of muscles and good sleep quality without REM interruption always nasal breathe when sleeping.
It’s commonly known that REM sleep helps process and imprint spatial memory, new motor skills and muscle reflexes into your subconscious.
Therefore, if you’re a sportsman and you’re looking to learn a new technique, memorize new game tactics or increase your muscle reflexes it’s vital that you make it a habit to nasal-only breathe while sleeping. Mouth breathing will only work against your memory and performance by disrupting your valuable REM sleep stages.
Strenuous activity builds up lactic acid that causes tissue hypoxia (cramp) in muscles. Lactic acid build-up is regulated by nitric oxide and nasal nitric oxide is produced in the nasal and sinus passages only during nasal breathing. Mouth breathing does not produce nitric oxide.
Nasal breathing also increases circulation, blood oxygen, carbon dioxide/ph levels, lung volume and heart efficiency and decreases water loss by more than 40%, helping to maintain hydration.
Keep lactic acid under control by making sleepQ+ part of your sleep management routine.
So the clear message is, when it comes to sports recovery and top performance nasal-breathers are winners.
Nasal breathing while sleeping will not only help your muscles grow and repair faster, boost your memory and prevent muscle cramps but will also help to decrease dehydration, conserve energy and boost your immune system.
These are all factors that are immensely valuable in the context of highly competitive sports, especially when it comes to boosting recovery. As an athlete, the last thing you want to hear after a big event is that all your effort in training went to waste because mouth breathing reduced your sleep quality and your recovery.
Sadly, many could-be-amazing athletes fall short because they don’t pay enough attention to their sleep habits. For the sake of your sporting career, make this one simple change of not mouth breathing when sleeping and watch as you demolish your competition with the extra edge a quicker recovery provides.
The nose and not the mouth should be used for breathing as the nose has better air conditioning capacity. When air is inhaled through the mouth it may dry and cool the respiratory mucosa, which can lead to bronchoconstriction in sensitive patients with asthma. By dilating the nostrils you can increase nasal breathing in most subjects. The aim of this study was to investigate whether sleeping with dilated nostrils reduces nocturnal asthma. At the Asthma and Allergy Research Centre, Gothenburg, IS outpatients with nocturnal asthma were selected. Every other night for 10 nights the test subjects slept with the nasal dilator Nozovent which has been shown to increase the nasal air-flow and decrease the need for mouth breathing. Every morning, the patients self-reported on a form whether they had woken with asthma during the night or if they had taken asthma medication. When sleeping with the nasal dilator the patients woke up with asthma on 17 of 75 nights as compared with 32 of 75 when sleeping without the device. Reduced nocturnal asthma was observed by 12 patients and less need for asthma medication at night by 7. None of the patients noted any side effects due to the device. In conclusion, the easy-to-use and cheap medical device, Nozovent®, which mechanically dilates the nostrils and improves nasal breathing, can reduce nocturnal asthma.
Last updated: 04/11/2016
What’s Keeping People Awake? Mouth Breathing!
Many people toss and turn while they sleep, affecting how they feel the next day, but what they might not know is that "mouth breathing" could be the culprit. A new survey of 1,001 American adults by the Breathe Right® brand uncovered the prevalence of sleep time mouth breathing, revealing that 61 percent of the respondents identify themselves as mouth breathers – those who regularly breathe through their mouth instead of their nose when sleeping and/or suffer from chronic nighttime nasal congestion.
According to the survey data, 71 percent of beds across America are host to a mouth breather, which can rob people of much needed sleep. The most common signs of mouth breathing reported were being awoken by nighttime nasal congestion (75 percent) waking up with a dry mouth (61 percent) and snoring (37 percent).
Mouth breathing is even more substantial when considering the impact it has on sleep in relation to other common deterrents. The survey revealed that mouth breathing impacts the quality of sleep (64 percent) nearly as much as stress (69 percent), the most common sleep deterrent. Further, mouth breathing impacts sleep more than a partner's snoring (53 percent), noise (52 percent) and an irregular sleep schedule (51 percent).
Mouth Breathing Doesn't Stay on One Side of the Bed.
Poor sleep can have a dramatic impact on energy, concentration and mood the next day and often can affect the sleep of a bed partner. The majority of respondents believe their (76 percent) or their partner's (63 percent) mouth breathing has had a significant negative impact on how well they slept and according to the survey, more than 6 in 10 had mentioned their mouth breathing to their partner.
"It's surprising to find how mouth breathing is a leading barrier to a better night's sleep and just how big of an impact it can have on sleep quality for both the sufferer and their sleep partner," said Mandy Hennebry, Breathe Right®, senior brand manager at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare. "It's important to talk about sleep habits because there are simple, drug-free options that can help nighttime nasal congestion."
Additional survey findings include: Of mouth breathers surveyed, 54 percent reported they did not get a good night's sleep the night before. 56 percent reported they wake up at least two times each night due to mouth breathing. Nearly three-quarters of participants who share a bed with a mouth breather said they are woken up at least once per night by their partner's mouth breathing. 59 percent of respondents sleep next to a mouth breather and 47 percent believe it impacts their ability to get a good night's sleep. Edited for relevance.
Sinuses are air-filled spaces located in your forehead, cheekbones, and behind the bridge of your nose which drain through narrow channels into the nose. When the linings of the channels that connects the sinuses to the nose become inflamed, they impair the ability of the sinuses to drain normally. Pressure may begin to build up within the blocked sinus.
The swelling and inflammation then back up into the sinuses with increased mucus and fluid secretion. Pressure can also develop at contact points between two structures in the nose and sinuses that swell against each other. All of these factors can combine to create the pain of a sinus headache.
Your sinuses are designed to prepare air for delivery to your lungs. They act as a humidifier, warming and moistening the air. They also remove debris and act as a first-line of defense against unfriendly microbes. Most importantly they must be ventilated by a constant flow of air up your nose.
For this to happen you must breathe through your nose, not your mouth. Unless you breathe constantly through your nose, especially at night, your sinuses will stagnate and eventually become infected.
One of the most important ways that nasal breathing helps oxygen flow is via a gas called nitric oxide. The role of nitric oxide in the body and respiration was only recently identified.
Nitric oxide is produced in the nasal sinuses by specific enzymes. It’s instrumental in delivering oxygen around the body efficiently because it regulates blood flow. When it mixes with air delivered to the lung, it increases arterial oxygen tension and reduces blood pressure.
Nitric oxide also has a vital role deep within your body’s cells and is produced elsewhere in the body but the biggest contributor is the minute amounts inhaled through the nose into the lungs.
Mouth breathing delivers no nitric oxide. It also provides none of the air warming and humidifying properties of nasal breathing. In humans, it’s really just a survival mechanism, to be used when the nasal breathing is impossible.
Mouth breathing during sleep will not only give you blocked and painful sinuses, it is the root cause of snoring, which can progress to sleep apnea, a condition linked to heart failure, high blood pressure and Alzheimer’s disease.
There are some sure signs of mouth breathing when sleeping.
If you wake up during the night or in the morning with a dry mouth, dry tongue, dry throat or dry lips you are most likely spending excessive time mouth breathing.
Mouth breathing is the root cause of snoring. It’s difficult to snore with your mouth closed. Once your mouth opens your tongue drops down from the roof of your mouth and falls back towards your throat reducing airflow and causing vibration of the throat tissues.
When you lay down you experience increased blood flow to nasal passageways, which make the vessels inside your nose and nasal passageways inflamed. Unless you maintain nasal breathing the inflammation may worsen to the point where you are woken up.
Sleep studies have shown that mouth breathing disturbs sleep more than anything except stress. Maintaining nasal breathing delivers calm restful sleep without the disruptions caused by mouth breathing.
Keeping your mouth closed is obvious, but not easy if you are asleep, until now.
SleepQ+ is a helping many people control involuntary mouth breathing while sleeping to avoid sinus pain, sleep disruptions, dry mouth, nasal congestion and snoring.
Visit www.sleepqplus.com to learn more and sleep better.
Click this video on what causes sinus pain.
Updated August 12th 2018
sleepQ+ was launched in Australia and New Zealand in mid August 2016 and the response has been amazing. Dentists and sleep clinics were the first to order the product to help patients sleep better. Elite athletes are recovering better.
The world is now a quieter place, thanks to sleepQ+.