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New battery-powered buzzer that sticks to your forehead is the latest bid to tackle snoring

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A plaster-sized gadget worn on the forehead that vibrates when the wearer rolls onto their back is the latest bid to tackle snoring.

The battery-powered device is designed to help people with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), where the soft tissue in the throat relaxes and collapses repeatedly during sleep, partially blocking the airway and causing loud snoring and pauses in breathing, known as apnoeas.

These can block airflow for ten seconds or more, disturbing sleep and leading to daytime tiredness. Untreated, OSA is linked to a higher risk of conditions such as heart disease and stroke.

It’s estimated that in 60 per cent of cases, the symptoms are increased by sufferers sleeping on their backs — the new device only stops sending out vibrations when the wearer, alerted by the effect, shifts from their back to their side. 

Research found that the forehead gadget reduced snoring symptoms by a third within days of using it.

A battery-operated plaster-sized gadget worn on the forehead that vibrates when the wearer rolls onto their back is the latest bid to tackle snoring

A battery-operated plaster-sized gadget worn on the forehead that vibrates when the wearer rolls onto their back is the latest bid to tackle snoring

OSA affects up to two million people in the UK, and the main cause is obesity as excess fat around the neck can add to the pressure on the soft tissues in the neck, mouth and throat.

Taking medicines with a sedative effect — such as sleeping tablets or tranquillisers — can also increase the risk.

Treatment includes continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which involves wearing a face mask at night that delivers a continuous flow of low pressure air to help keep airways open. However, some people give up on this device as they find it difficult to sleep.

Another measure aimed at discouraging sleeping on the back is to sew an item such as a tennis ball into the back of nightwear, but this can also interfere with sleep.

The new device measures around four square centimetres (about the size of a large plaster) and weighs around 14 grams (the weight of a small battery). It incorporates an accelerometer — the same kind of technology used in cars to detect crashes and release airbags, and in mobile phones to detect movement changes and distinguish up from down.

The accelerometer in the patch works the same way, detecting if someone is on their side or back.

Try this: Mouthwash tablets  

Georganics mouthwash tablets help to restore a healthy pH to your mouth to maintain oral health and freshen breath. 

Flavours include orange, eucalyptus and spearmint. 

180 tablets, £8.90, georganics.com

The device also contains a pad which starts vibrating with four increasing levels of intensity when the wearer rolls on their back for more than 30 seconds.

The idea is that the vibrations briefly wake the wearer, who then moves back onto their side. The results of a trial run by scientists at Araba University Hospital in Spain, involving 12 patients, found using the device led to a 31 per cent drop in apnoeas in the first week.

Measurements were taken during the night, and the patients had the device for four weeks.

Furthermore, the study found that patients liked that it was lightweight and easy to use, reports the journal Respiratory Medicine. More studies are planned.

Try this: Georganics mouthwash tablets help to restore a healthy pH to your mouth to maintain oral health and freshen breath. Flavours include orange, eucalyptus and spearmint

Try this: Georganics mouthwash tablets help to restore a healthy pH to your mouth to maintain oral health and freshen breath. Flavours include orange, eucalyptus and spearmint

Commenting on the device, Jaydip Ray, an ear, nose and throat consultant, and professor of otology and neurotology at Sheffield University, said: ‘Simple snoring is a common social and medical problem that adversely affects many people. Easy to use, unobtrusive wearable devices using miniaturised accelerometers are a welcome solution for many of them. This initial study is encouraging.’

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n Meanwhile, wearing a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask at night for sleep apnoea can help with snoring but may also help reduce depression, suggests a new study.

Around 40 people with severe obstructive sleep apnoea were given a CPAP mask for six months — the results, reported in the journal Sleep And Breathing, found it reduced snoring and halved depression and anxiety symptoms.

Timekeeping at work also improved by nearly 20 per cent, while productivity rose by around 15 per cent, reported the researchers from Université de Lyon in France.

Secrets of an A-list body  

Priyanka Chopra’s turquoise miniskirt reveals her toned legs. How does she maintain her enviable figure?

Priyanka Chopra’s turquoise miniskirt reveals her toned legs. How does she maintain her enviable figure?

This week: Priyanka Chopra 

Priyanka Chopra’s turquoise miniskirt reveals her toned legs. How does she maintain her enviable figure?

The actress, 37, says she prefers yoga but she does regular gym workouts that include sprints and spinning. ‘The idea is to keep healthy and not shrink myself by three sizes,’ Chopra says.

What to try: The leg press is great for working muscles and glutes. You will need an elastic exercise band (or improvise with a pair of tights).

Lie on your back and loop the band around your right foot, holding the ends in each hand. Bend your left knee and place your left foot on the floor. Bend your right knee in towards the chest and then extend it. Repeat 15 times then switch feet. Aim for 2-3 sets.

Did you know: Few older women in the UK seek help for sexual health problems. New research by the University of Sussex, based on more than 4,000 women with an average age of 64, shows that 3 per cent sought help for problems despite 27 per cent facing issues. 

How foods can affect your state of mind 

This week: Oily fish can make you feel happy

Oily fish has mainly been linked with protecting against heart disease, but it’s also associated with positive frames of mind.

‘There’s a clear correlation between the amount of oily fish a population consumes and the risk of depression in the country — the more fish eaten, the lower the risk,’ says Dr Alexander Sumich, a biological psychologist at Nottingham Trent University. 

‘Whether this is because people who consume oily fish generally act in healthier ways that improve mood, or whether it’s something specific in oily fish we’re not sure.

‘But oily fish contains substances that impact on mood.’

These include tryptophan, vitamin D and omega-3 fats thought to dampen the body’s reaction to stress.

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