As a group, people who struggle with maintaining a healthy weight experience some of the same struggles and challenges. Whether it is acknowledged or it goes unrecognized, one of those challenges can be airway-related and not being able to achieve the quality of sleep the body requires. The inability to do so can set off a domino effect on a person’s overall health and wellness. Without being able to obtain the levels of required quality sleep, the chances of experiencing long term success with weight loss and health goals can be significantly compromised.
How Sleep Apnea Can Affect Health
Understanding the relevance of sleep and how it can impact a person’s health is crucial to reaching those goals. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies suggest that there may be an association between sleep and weight gain. In one study, sleep deprivation in men increased their preferences for high-calorie foods which affected their overall calories consumed. In another study with women who slept less than six hours a night or more than nine hours, the women were more likely to gain over 10 pounds compared with women who slept seven hours a night.
So, what’s the reason? Sleep affects the hormones ghrelin and leptin that regulate and stimulate the sensation of hunger. Achieving quality sleep is needed to reach the different sleep stages during the sleep cycles that occur at the night. Hormone regulation occurs within specific sleep stages. If a person achieves the required hours of sleep but is being awakened during the night due to snoring or airway obstructions that block off oxygen, then the sleep cycles are compromised. Many times, hormones cannot be regulated due to the lack of quality sleep.
An additional factor may be that lack of sleep or quality sleep leads to fatigue which can result in less physical activity. When you feel exhausted the chances of making the best nutritional and fitness choices are much lower.
Contact Our Office
If you or someone you know is struggling to reach heart-healthy weight goals that may be affected by sleep or airway issues, please call us today for help. You can also take a quick 5-minute screening test to see if you or your loved one may be a candidate for a sleep breathing disorder by visiting sleeptest.com. Get the help you need to feel your best so that you can achieve your goals!