Ignoring Snoring? It’s Not Just A Noisy Nuisance

Are you feeling that familiar elbow in your back night after night, or your/your partner’s snoring is so disruptive that you now sleep in separate rooms? Snoring can be a nuisance, but it can also represent a red flag that your heart and your health is in danger. Here is why you should not ignore the snore.

There are different types of sleep apnea, but obstructive sleep apnea is the most common and is characterized by pauses in breath throughout the night while you are sleeping, resulting in unrefreshing sleep. It is an underdiagnosed and undertreated condition. Snoring is one of the most obvious signs but other symptoms include:

  • Waking up tired and fatigued through the day, feeling like you can easily fall asleep while driving or talking to someone
  • Difficulty concentrating during the day
  • Morning headaches
  • Waking up gasping or choking
  • Mood changes such as depression or irritability
  • High blood pressure and high blood pressure that isn’t responding to treatment

When sleep apnea goes untreated it can increase your risk for the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attacks
  • Arrhythmias or irregular heart beats
  • Diabetes
  • Weight gain

The good news is sleep apnea IS treatable. Treatments include:

  • A special face mask that delivers positive airway pressure throughout the night
  • A special mouth piece (called mandibular advancement device) that thrusts your jaw forward to keep your airway open
  • Weight loss

What’s more is that you need to wear your mask for only 4 hours at night to achieve a clinical benefit (although you will feel better if you are wearing it for all your sleep hours).

Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea but snoring shouldn’t be ignored, especially if you also wake gasping or choking in the night or your bed partner reports that you do.

Click here to take this 8 question quiz to quickly assess your likelihood of having sleep apnea. Even if you score low but are suffering with your sleep and feeling unrefreshed in the morning, you should consult your health care provider for support and a proper assessment.

Sleep apnea that goes untreated can wreak havoc on your overall health. Frequent apneic episodes during the night place a significant strain on your heart – it increases sympathetic activation, increases the resistance your heart has to pump against (called afterload), reduces the production of vasodilating substances such as nitric oxide which all contribute to a rise in blood pressure and risk for arrhythmias and cardiac events. Don’t ignore the snore!


Hasthi U. Dissanayake,  Juliana T. Colpani, Kate Sutherland,  et al. Obstructive sleep  apnea therapy for cardiovascular risk reduction—Time for a rethink? Clin Cardiol. 2021 Dec; 44(12): 1729–1738.


Disclaimer: The information presented on this site does not constitute medical advice and does not replace the advice from your doctor. Always consult a qualified health care professional when changing or beginning a new health plan.


Click the link below to learn 5 critical ways to reduce your risk of a heart attack in just 5 days. And it's FREE! or book your FREE Discovery Call Now.

5 Mediterranean Grocery Staples To Keep Stocked In Your Kitchen

The famous Mediterranean diet – although I consider it more of a lifestyle than a diet – is one that is shared by the people living along the Mediterranean Sea. We tend to associate this eating style with those living in Italy, France, and Greece, but it includes many other countries such as Morrocco, Egypt, Spain, and Turkey, just to name a few. It is no surprise to me that this way of eating is one of the healthiest, if not THEEEE healthiest – full of variety, antioxidants, healthy fats, anti-inflammatory ingredients and not to mention packed full of flavour. Not everyone is familiar with the Mediterranean eating style and it is not difficult to start. Here are 5 essentials to get you started and help you reap the benefits of the Mediterranean Way:

  1. Olive Oil. This healthy monounsaturated fat is a key staple of the Mediterranean diet. It’s tremendous health benefits can be attributed to the high polyphenol content and anti-inflammatory action of this oil. Regular intake can help improve lipid parameters, support the function of blood vessels and a healthy blood pressure. Don’t over do it though as like any fat, eating too much olive oil can increase your caloric intake fast if you are trying to lose weight. A good place to start is incorporating 1-2 tbsp daily in the form of salad dressing or adding flavour to meals.

Pro Tip – purchase in dark glass bottle in smaller quantities and look for the symbol of the North American Olive Oil Association to ensure quality

  1. Eat more legumes such as beans, lentils, chickpeas. They are high in fibre and protein and low in fat, making a great meat substitute and helping you feel full longer. They are also a great source of folate, iron, magnesium, and potassium which is essential for healthy blood pressure.

Pro Tip – soaking beans overnight and changing the water once or twice can help make them easier to digest.

  1. Snack on nuts and seeds. They also provide a great source of unsaturated fats as well as a variety of minerals, fibre and a little bit of protein. They can help 1-2 small handfuls daily is all you need. They have a cholesterol-lowering effect as well as helping to reduce inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity and blood vessel health. Walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans and macademia nuts are good choices. Also, don’t forget sesame seeds and tahini, as well as flax and chia to boost your fibre intake.

Pro Tip – choose raw, unsalted, and keep stored in the refrigerator or freezer to preserve the healthy fats. Nuts and nut butter (such as almond butter) pair well with a piece of fruit or spread on some celery for a light snack.

  1. Incorporate more fish and seafood at least twice/week. They contain long chain omega fats important for heart and brain health.

Pro Tip – choose small cold water fish and wild caught if possible. Salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel are the best options for their omega 3 content.

  1. Tomatoes! (and of course other Fruits and vegetables) – Tomato sauce and tomato paste are excellent sources of lycopene, a key antioxidant for health, as well as other vitamins and minerals, phytosterols, amino acids, fibre and many other antioxidants. Lycopene is a carotenoid that gives tomatoes their bright red colour. Tomatoes have numerous health benefits such as protection against eye disease, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease to name a few.

Pro Tip – cooked tomatoes with olive oil increases the bioavailability of the lycopene. Be sure to look for low sodium versions. And if you suffer from heart burn, you may want to limit or avoid tomato based products.

Disclaimer: The information presented on this site does not constitute medical advice and does not replace the advice from your doctor. Always consult a qualified health care professional when changing or beginning a new health plan.


Click the link below to learn 5 critical ways to reduce your risk of a heart attack in just 5 days. And it's FREE! or book your FREE Discovery Call Now.

6 Heart Disease Risk Factors You Don’t Know About

We all know and often hear about the traditional risk factors for heart disease: smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, hypertension, and poor diet. However, there are a number of factors which can increase your risk considerably which are much less talked about.

Conditions in Pregnancy

Conditions such as hypertension in pregnancy and gestational diabetes or impaired glucose control can significantly increase your risk for heart disease and heart attacks later in life, EVEN IF you now have normal blood pressure and blood sugar. Pregnancy is like a stress test for women, and can unmask metabolic issues you may not have otherwise known. Having these conditions impair the endothelium, the delicate lining of the arteries, which regulates blood pressure, inflammation, and clotting. Its damage to this protective lining that sets people up for heart disease later in life…even 25 years later!

The good news…eating a healthy diet, exercising, getting the appropriate tests, and managing other risk factors, mitigates your risk.

Sleep Apnea

There are several types of sleep apnea but obstructive sleep apnea is the most common. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your throat muscles relax and block your airway during sleep. This happens intermittently and is associated with loud snoring that is punctuated by periods of silence. Sometimes people wake gasping at night which settles relatively quickly within a few breaths. And sometimes people with sleep apnea actually think they sleep relatively well.

When breathing stops throughout the night, and this can happen hundreds of times, it places a significant amount of stress on the body which can persist throughout the next day. Sleep apnea contributes to high blood pressure mediated through signals coming from the brain to increase blood flow when oxygen levels drop.

Most people think that those with sleep apnea are overweight, however, this condition can occur in those that are thin and healthy, and it also increases in women after menopause.

What you can do: if your partner complains of loud snoring or you are feeling extremely tired and sleepy during the day, ask your doctor about getting a sleep study.


Depression and heart disease are a two-way street. Those with depression have been found to have higher levels of inflammation and for those suffering from depression, it makes it harder to engage in heart- and mental health-protective behaviours such as exercise, socializing, eating healthy, or quitting smoking. Those that have depression have worse outcomes after a heart attack.

Living with depression is hard. But know that there is help out there. The first step is recognizing you are struggling and asking for help. You are loved and deserve to feel your best.

What’s good for the heart is good for the mind.

Poor Gut Health

Hippocrates said “all disease begins in the gut”.

The gut is home to trillions of bugs that interact with the food we eat. This is called the microbiome. They produce waste products, some good and some not so good, influencing our weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, mental health, and inflammation-all risk factors for heart disease.

Your microbiome is like a finger print – it is unique to you and can influence your susceptibility to disease. We do a lot of things that mess up our gut ecosystem: eating highly processed foods, little fibre and plant foods, and take certain medications like acid blocking medications and anti-inflammatories. And antibiotics are like an atomic bomb to our guts! If we tend to our inner community by feeding it a variety of plant based foods, fibre, fermented foods, and less animal products we can influence our heart health through a healthier gut.


The thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped gland located at the base of your neck and responds to signals from the brain to release thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones play an important role in your overall health and feeling your best, and have a direct effect on your heart health in a number of ways.

Thyroid hormones effect the contractility of your heart, in other words how strong your heart is contracting to pump blood forward, it effects your heart rate and regularity, it effects the tone of your vascular system, impacting blood pressure and it also impacts your LDL levels by affecting receptors that take up LDL from the circulation. Thyroid hormones also prevent LDL oxidation which is a process that turns LDL into a very damaging molecule that significantly contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries leading to heart disease.

Gum Disease

Do you suffer from bleeding gums, deep pockets, or cavities? Have you been diagnosed with periodontal disease or treated for oral infections? Then you are at risk for heart disease.

Poor oral health has been linked with heart disease and significant increased risk for heart attacks due to unchecked inflammation.

The good news is that you can actually get tested to find out if you have too many bad bacteria residing in your mouth and get appropriate treatment.

Click the link below to learn 5 critical ways to reduce your risk of a heart attack in just 5 days. And it's FREE! or book your FREE Discovery Call now.


Disclaimer: The information presented on this site does not constitute medical advice and does not replace the advice from your doctor. Always consult a qualified health care professional when changing or beginning a new health plan.