one bonus of finding out is that treatment for sleep apnea can result in weight loss!
By Jeffrey Goldberg, DDS, MS, MBA
Do you snore? Does your partner snore? If so, the cause may be sleep apnea. Aside from being dangerous, sleep apnea often causes weight gain.
Too many of us dislike what we see when we step on the scale. As Americans, we are accustomed to thinking that diet pills, fad diets, and countless other weight loss remedies are the answer. But what if getting a good night’s sleep was the answer?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common sleep disorder in which the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep. When this happens, the airway becomes blocked. People with OSA stop breathing many times during the night, and every time they stop breathing, their brains pull them out of REM (deep) sleep.
Researchers say there is a clear association between obstructive sleep apnea and obesity. People suffering from obesity are more likely to develop sleep apnea, and people with sleep apnea are more likely to be obese. Studies reveal a clear link between decreased REM sleep and weight gain. One study of 163 OSA patients was presented at an annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. Researchers who led the study reported that patients with decreased REM sleep were almost 20 pounds heavier than the other patients. Following treatment, the patients who experienced the biggest increase in REM sleep also showed the greatest weight loss.
We know that, regardless of whether or not you have sleep apnea, too little sleep can cause health problems such as headaches, difficulty concentrating, daytime sleepiness, and increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. So, if you’ve been avoiding the possibility that you may have sleep apnea, perhaps you should think about the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep. Not only can it lower your risk for serious chronic diseases, but also it may help you shed those extra pounds.
If you’re not sure if you are experiencing symptoms of sleep deprivation, visit www.sleepapnea.org, and find out your Snore Score. Whether it’s getting more sleep, or finding out if you have sleep apnea, the important thing is improving your energy level and quality of life. And, as an extra bonus, you may just find it easier to fit into your favorite jeans!
Jeffrey I. Goldberg, DDS, MS, MBA focuses his practice on treatment for sleep disorders, TMJ and orofacial pain. He is a graduate of the UB School of Dental Medicine and Cornell University. Dr. Goldberg is conveniently located in the Dent Tower at 3980 Sheridan Drive, Suite 401, Amherst, NY 14226. Make an appointment by calling 716-636-2222 and visit www.facialpainandapnea.com.