One Bonus of Finding Out if You Have Sleep Apnea is that Treatment for Sleep Apnea Can Result in Weight Loss!
By Jeffrey Goldberg, D.D.S
Are you snoring? Is your partner snoring? If so, you may have sleep apnea. Aside from being dangerous, sleep apnea often causes weight gain
Too many of us dislike stepping on the scale. As Americans, we are accustomed to thinking that diet pills, fad diets, and other weight loss “remedies” are the answer. But what if you learned that getting a good night’s sleep just might be 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, causing the airway to become blocked. People with OSA stop breathing many times during the night, and every time they stop breathing, their brains pull them out of deep sleep.
Researchers have found a clear association between OSA, decreased sleep, and obesity. People suffering from obesity are more likely to develop sleep apnea, and people with sleep apnea are more likely to be obese. One study of 163 OSA patients presented at an annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies revealed that patients with decreased deep sleep were almost 20 pounds heavier than the other patients. Following treatment, patients who experienced the biggest increase in deep sleep also showed the most weight loss.
Researchers also say that people who don’t sleep well cannot exercise efficiently, and tend to rely more on sugar, caffeine, and junk food. There are also hormonal considerations with sleep apnea and appetite. Specifically, the hormone gerelin makes people hungry, and the hormone relin decreases their hunger. Disrupted sleep causes these two hormones to become out of balance, ultimately causing people with sleep apnea to feel hungrier.
Regardless of whether or not you have sleep apnea, too little sleep can cause health problems such as headaches, difficulty concentrating, daytime sleepiness, increased risk of heart disease, and diabetes. So if you’re one of those people who has 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 it also 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 levels and quality of life. And fitting back into your skinny jeans might just be an extra bonus!
About the author:
Jeffrey I. Goldberg, DDS 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 14226. Make an appointment by calling 716-636-2222 and visit www.facialpainandapnea.com.