Relationship Of Sleep Quality & Your Weight

added on: April 12, 2016

After three and a half months, it’s not unusual to see some of those well-intended New Year’s Resolutions start to fizzle out. While the new year sees us begin the path to reaching our goals enthusiastically, things such as ‘losing weight’ seem to require a long, slow process and much effort. When results are minimal, the enthusiasm wanes and so does our commitment.

Losing weight is a good goal for a growing number of Americans. The obesity rate (those who are more than overweight or fat) is now at 35% of the U.S. adult population — over a third of the country’s population.

The ‘exercise more/eat less’ rule of thumb is not an easy task for anyone. However, it is like taking one-step-forward-two steps-back for those who have sleep disorders.

While sleep disorders tend to zap motivation and energy levels needed for being active, getting insufficient sleep also causes a reaction in the brain that revs up cravings. When you consider the boost you get after consuming sweets and carbohydrates, the brain tries to help perk you up when sleep deprivation drags you down. Being sleep deprived causes the brain to activate cravings for this quick form of energy as an easy solution of supplying you with energy.

When you add these cravings to feeling fatigued and run-down throughout the day, weight gain is the natural result. For those who are trying to lose weight under these conditions, they are fighting an uphill battle. Your body, including your brain, is simply working against your goals.

When sleep disorders, such as heavy snoring or sleep apnea, are resolved, the brain and heart are able to reboot from ample, restful sleep. Getting ample intake of oxygen during sleep enables the brain (and heart) to function efficiently and effectively, which carries you through the next day.  Waking up and feeling refreshed is a bonus. A brain that is able to function at its best during the night won’t kick your willpower to the curb during the day.

Sleep apnea has also been associated with a  number of serious health problems. In addition to weight gain and obesity, it has been linked to heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, migraines and impotency.

A common treatment for sleep apnea is often C-PAP therapy, deemed the ‘gold standard’ when it comes to supplying patients with ample oxygen during sleep. However, an overwhelming percentage of those who are prescribed C-PAP devices can’t get comfortable with them or find them noisy, confining, embarrassing and inconvenient. For those with mild to moderate levels of sleep apnea, we offer a small, custom-designed oral appliance that eliminates the need for C-PAP.

These mouth pieces are FDA approved and comfortably designed so they won’t interfere with your sleep. They are easy to use and effective for many levels of sleep apnea and heavy snoring (often a precursor to sleep apnea).

There is a reason that fitness centers that were full in January are seeing far fewer patrons in April. Losing weight is hard work for most of us. When you add sleep deprivation to the task, the odds are against you from the start. Keep your commitment to lose weight while  restoring your quality of sleep. You’ll see better results and feel better about your overall health and well-being as well.

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Dr. Ban R. Barbat

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