22 Feb Sleep Apnea Could Be Affecting Your Weight
Many people have as their New Year’s resolution to lose more weight. However. Did you know that sleep deprivation can contribute to a person’s weight? For instance, if someone has short periods of sleep, it is reported that they are more likely to have an increase in consumption of saturated fat, resulting in weight gain. There is also an association with poor eating habits, including an increase in meals, snacks, and nighttime eating with shorter periods of sleep. Dietary changes with higher intake of fiber and fruits and vegetables to replace a diet of saturated fat may help improve the duration of sleep. It was reported that a higher intake of saturated fat and a lower intake of fiber were associated with a lighter sleep.
Short sleep duration may be associated with an increase in the hormone called ghrelin, which re-stimulates hunger and a decrease in the hormone leptin, which inhibits hunger. An increase in ghrelin, can lead to more food intake for the need for more energy to fight fatigue. An increase in sleep duration and correction of sleep disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea may be associated with a better balance of hormones that regulate appetite with improved glucose tolerance.
So if a higher calorie intake is associated with sleep deprivation, then what can one do to get more sleep? As mentioned, eating a healthy diet and exercise can help. Limiting the amount of social media, cell phones, and TV as the blue light can throw off one’s internal clock. If you are snoring or regularly feeling un-refreshed during the day, then you may be suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This occurs when your throat muscles periodically relax and block your airway during your sleep. The natural sleep pattern gets interrupted when gasps for air occur and the patient is not able to stay in stages of sleep long enough to help him or her have a restorative sleep.
Getting an Evaluation from your doctor, nurse practitioner, or dentist who is trained in dental sleep medicine would be the first step. A sleep study may then be recommended to determine how many apnea episodes are being experienced. An apnea is when one stops breathing for 10 seconds or more. A Home Sleep Study can be done in the comfort of your own home and will be interpreted by a Doctor of Sleep Medicine. This can help rule out if Sleep Apnea is contributing to snoring, lack of refreshed sleep or weight gain. Left untreated, sleep apnea can shorten one’s life and reduce its quality, so be sure to get it checked out.