Thursday, February 4, 2010

Trimming Down By Catching Up on Your Zzz’s

One of the hardest parts of detecting obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is that most people do not realize their brain forces them awake throughout the night to breathe.

These unconscious arousals can happen hundreds of times a night, voiding the benefits of restorative sleep, draining a person of energy, and putting them at risk for obesity, no matter how long they stay in bed.

A new study in the Feb. 1 issue of the journal SLEEP found that not getting enough sleep could lead to obesity.

The study examined people’s sleep habits and weight gain in Japan.

During health checkups in 2006 in 2007, 35,000 men and women reported their sleep habits. Their weights and heights were also recorded.

An estimated six percent of the men who were not obese in 2006 became obese in 2007.

The researchers found that weight gain and the development of obesity were higher in men who slept less than six hours. Men who slept five hours were more affected by weight gain than those who slept five to six hours.

Both men and women who slept seven hours had higher body mass indexes in 2007 than in 2006 compared to those who slept seven to eight hours per night.

Interestingly, the researchers found that sleeping more than nine hours was associated with increased weight gain. They suggested that a confounder such as OSA, may have affected the results.

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.