Did you know that poor quality sleep can affect your ability to maintain a healthy weight?
There is a direct connection between weight, health, and quality of sleep.
Changes in Brain Chemistry
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported on a study that measured the molecular ties between poor sleep and weight gain.
Researchers found that poor sleep creates chemical changes in the brain. This condition may weaken the ability to resist unhealthy foods.
“If you see junk food and you’ve had enough sleep, you may be able to control some aspects of your natural response. But if you are sleep deprived, your hedonic drive for certain foods gets stronger, and your ability to resist them may be impaired. So you are more likely to eat it. Do that again and again, and you pack on the pounds.” –Tianna Hicklin, Ph.D.
Let’s look at the science. The research reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine found:
“The amount of human sleep contributes to the maintenance of fat-free body mass at times of decreased energy intake. Lack of sufficient sleep may compromise the efficacy of typical dietary interventions for weight loss and related metabolic risk reduction.”–Annals of Internal Medicine
Poor Sleep and Diabetes
A study conducted by the University of Chicago School of Medicine found a connection between substandard sleep, weight gain, and type 2 diabetes.
“The study, the first to examine the impact of sleep loss on 24-hour fatty acid levels in the blood, adds to emerging evidence that insufficient sleep–a highly prevalent condition in modern society–may disrupt fat metabolism and reduce the ability of insulin to regulate blood sugars. It suggests that something as simple as getting enough sleep could help counteract the current epidemics of diabetes and obesity.”–Esra Tasali, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago.
Wondering if your health issues are a result of sleep apnea?
If you suffer from daytime sleepiness, or your partner says you stop breathing temporarily during sleep, see your doctor right away.
If you want to start out with a specialist, ask your primary doctor for a recommendation. In the U.S., the American Board of Sleep Medicine certifies physicians who treat sleep disorders.
Some types of sleep apnea can be treated with oral appliance therapy (OAT).
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has recommended OAT in the following circumstances:
- For patients with mild to moderate OSA
- For people with severe OSA who are unable to use CPAP devices
- As a combination of therapy (using CPAP and an oral appliance together)
A custom-fit oral appliance allows patients to breathe normally while sleeping. A diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea must be made by a medical doctor. If the physician recommends oral appliance therapy, he or she will refer the patient to a dentist who is trained in treating sleep disorders. At Houston Sleep Solutions, we provide OAT for patients who have received a diagnosis of mild to moderate sleep apnea from a physician.
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