Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Aging with Grace: Sleep Quality is Key

A recent Washington Post article highlighted tips for thriving in old age.

One important factor? Getting quality sleep.

With 40 turning into the new 30 and people living well into their 90s, it’s important to ensure a healthy life in the later years.

The article notes that sleep apnea is one of the main culprits of lower quality life in old age.

Sleep apnea, weight gain and aging often tie together.

While anyone can have sleep apnea, weight gain and aging increase one’s risk for the condition.

Unfortunately, gaining weight is a common part of aging. And once sleep apnea is present, losing weight can be difficult because the condition drains a person's energy.

Instead of trying to lose weight and treat sleep apnea later, make sure to get enough sleep in every stage of life.

In February, this blog reported on a study that found that men and women who slept more hours per night gained less weight in a one-year period.

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.

Don’t damage your health by thinking you’ll have plenty of time to sleep when you’re old. Quality sleep is important at all points of life.

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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.