Could Healthier Sleep Lead to Healthier Weight?

Are you losing sleep because of your weight? For most of us, the answer is “probably.” Is there a link between healthy sleep and healthy weight? Definitely.

Sleep disordered breathing, especially obstructive sleep apnea, affects a host of things that sabotage you getting to the healthy weight you’re looking for.

First, people who are poorly rested tend to be sluggish and irritable and will reach for high sugar foods to give them a short-term energy boost. These foods, loaded with sugar and other carbs yield a quick rise in blood sugar, hence the quick energy, at the expense of the steep drop in blood sugar later. This causes the cycle to repeat itself. All the while, with all that insulin release, the body becomes resistant to the insulin and fat starts to accumulate.

Additionally, the balance in the body’s hunger hormone and the hormone that makes you feel full and stop eating, gets disrupted with sleep apnea. The result is overeating and no sense of fullness.

With the decrease in daily energy to power through the day, exercise becomes difficult and usually stops – furthering the weight gain.

Finally, it is during deep sleep when the body does its fat metabolism. No deep sleep – little to no fat metabolism. Obstructive sleep apnea deprives you of the most restorative and restful deep sleep.

If you are feeling heavier than you’d like or simply have no energy to do the things you enjoy, poor sleep could be the culprit.

Talk to your family doctor about getting evaluated for sleep disordered breathing including snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. At the Pennsylvania Center for Dental Sleep Medicine, we’re available for your questions as well.

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Editor’s Note: This article was contributed by Terry M. Gordon, DDS, AADSM Sleep-Qualified Dentist who is the Dental Director of PA Center for Dental Sleep Medicine.