Quality sleep and a healthy weight are inextricably linked.
Our lifestyle prevents weight loss
The modern Friendswood lifestyle makes it extremely challenging to maintain a healthy weight.
We spend time in heated homes and offices, commute by car, and obtain high-calorie food in Houston with very little effort.
Mere survival for prehistoric man was dependent on daily activities which kept metabolisms humming.
If you had to grow, gather, or kill everything you ate, traveled by foot or horseback, and lived in a chilly cave, you wouldn’t need a Spring gym membership to look svelte in your animal skins.
Our lifestyle restricts healthy sleep
Our modern lifestyle also makes it challenging to sleep. This makes daily activities more difficult.
How many friends and family members do you know who struggle to obtain quality sleep every night?
Some men and women can’t fall asleep in the first place. Maybe that’s why so many of us can whiz through a season of our favorite Netflix series in a couple of nights.
Perhaps you wake up at two or three a.m. and can’t go back to sleep. Your mind starts worrying over all the things you have to do in the morning.
Or…perhaps your sleep problems are due to sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a disorder where you have frequent, recurring pauses in breathing while sleeping. These pauses can last for up to 60 seconds. They are caused by soft tissue in the back of the throat that relaxes and blocks the airway. When the brain is not getting enough oxygen it interferes with important physical processes.
Unhealthy weight and unhealthy sleep?
Now that we’ve talked about sleep problems, let’s look at weight problems. How many poor sleepers also have a weight issue? If you suspect a connection, you are absolutely right.
Poor sleep prevents weight loss
Poor sleep isn’t just irritating. It’s detrimental to our health. Sleep deprivation messes up the hormones that regulate our appetite. Leptin is one of those vital hormones.
Reduced Leptin (the skinny hormone)
Leptin has a key job—it makes us want to burn energy. It also reduces our appetite. When it comes to weight loss, Leptin is your best friend.
Increased Ghrelin (the chubby hormone)
Another hormone connected to our metabolism is Ghrelin. Ghrelin is not your friend when it comes to weight loss. It increases your appetite. Guess what? Sleep deprivation increases the production of Ghrelin.
Did you know that even one week without quality sleep can add pounds?
The barriers to weight loss compound as the months (or years!) go by with restless sleep. Extreme fatigue saps your will power. Other health conditions worsen, which makes it harder to exercise and eat well. You are more likely to be depressed. You are more likely to have chronic anxiety.
Plus, poor sleep gives us more waking hours to shove food in our mouths. Most of us don’t use those sleepless hours running on the treadmill or lifting weights. We’re just too darn tired.
Less sleep = more calories
In a 2016 study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, individuals who slept five and a half hours or less per night consumed an average of 385 extra daily calories than those who slept seven hours or more. (“Why Sleep Habits Could Be Why You’re Packing on Pounds,” health.com)
Sleep has been shown to be an important modulator of neuroendocrine function and glucose metabolism. A lack of sleep results in metabolic alterations such as decreased glucose tolerance and alteration of hormones that regulate appetite. In addition, short sleepers usually have poor dietary habits that may impact nutrient intake. Therefore, an effort to increase sleep duration may improve sleep hygiene (the habits necessary to promote good nighttime sleep) and nutrition, as well as help in the maintenance of weight and cardio-metabolic health. (Medical News Bulletin)
I think I might have sleep apnea, what should I do?
We never thought you’d ask. Call Houston Sleep Solutions to schedule a sleep consultation with a dentist who specializes in treating sleep disorders like snoring and sleep apnea.
How does a sleep apnea dentist treat sleep apnea?
Dentists use oral appliance therapy to treat obstructive sleep apnea. Patients wear a custom-fitted removable oral appliance at night. The appliance fits somewhat like a sports mouthguard.
How does an oral appliance work?
An oral appliance prohibits your airway from collapsing. It either holds the tongue or jaw in a forward position.
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