Sleep and Obesity

You might not think these two conditions are linked but recent research has found that a lack of sleep is linked to obesity. A study published in the American Journal of Human Biology examined how lack of sleep impacted appetite regulation, impaired glucose metabolism and increased blood pressure.

The study found that signals from the brain that control appetite regulation were impacted by experimental sleep restriction. The study revealed that getting inadequate sleep had an impact on the signal hormones ghrelin (which increases appetite) and leptin (which tells the body you are full). People who weren’t getting enough sleep had an increase in food intake without expending that extra energy.

According to the study, “In the United States 18% of adults are estimated to get less than six hours of sleep, which equates to 53 million short sleepers who may be at risk of associated obesity. Poor sleeping patterns are not random, and it is important to consider social, cultural and environmental factors which can cause inadequate sleep so at-risk groups can be identified.” For more information about serious sleeping issues, including sleep apnea, contact Dr. Shukla today.

What is the Right Amount of Sleep?

Sleep experts advise adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, with children and adolescents needing even more than that. However, it is estimated that the average adult sleeps about 6.5 hours per night during the work week. Additional sleep studies have show that 1 out of every 3 Americans is not getting enough sleep.

There are a variety of reasons we aren’t getting enough sleep. Whether kids are keeping you awake or it’s just that book you couldn’t put down or that late night show you really wanted to watch, a repeated cycle of sleep deprivation causes us to load up on carbohydrates and caffeine to keep ourselves going throughout the day. And obesity can quickly follow this pattern.

Sleep Apnea and Obesity

Also known as obstructive sleep apnea, this condition happens when breathing repeatedly stops for 10 seconds or more during sleep. This causes a decreased flow of oxygen to the blood and can cause people to awaken during sleep throughout the night. Speak to your sleep doctor in New York for an accurate diagnosis.

There are a variety of causes for sleep apnea. The most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea in adults is obesity, as it affects the soft tissue in the mouth and throat. The throat and tongue muscles are more relaxed when we sleep, and excessive soft tissue can cause the airway to become blocked.

If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can cause serious health issues including cardiovascular disease and even premature death. If you have any warning signs such as loud snoring and repeatedly waking up at night, you should talk to your doctor.

Experts estimate that more than half of the people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are overweight or considered obese. This is defined as someone with a body mass index (BMI) of 25-30 or above. Men with a neck circumference of 17 inches and women with a neck circumference of 15 inches have a significantly increased risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea.

Those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea can develop some extremely serious health issues such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux disease, nocturnal angina, heart failure, hypothyroidism and an abnormal heart rhythm. All these complications also cause the person suffering from sleep apnea to have serious daytime sleepiness, which brings with it a host of other potential issues, including depression.

Treatment options for those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea include the use of a CPAP machine, and in serious cases, surgery might be the best option to improve the symptoms and the resulting complications.

Sleep Apnea Doctor in New York

If you struggle with your weight and find yourself waking up frequently in the night, you might suffer from a more serious sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea. If you think you might have a more serious sleep issue, contact the top sleep apnea doctor in New York at Sleep MD NYC for a consultation. Don’t let poor sleep habits or a more serious health issue keep you from getting the rest you need.

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