Obesity and Sleep Deprivation: The Vicious Circle
For many years the medical community has known that obesity is a major cause of snoring which causes sleep deprivation. Now there is proof that a lack of sleep can actually lead to obesity. It is a circle that can start in childhood and gets more vicious as we age if it goes untreated.
A professor in the Department of Psychiatry and director of Sleep Disorders Center at Sacré-Coeur Hospital, Jacques Montplaisir, conducted an analysis of 1,138 children and found that 26 percent who didn’t sleep enough were overweight, 18.5 percent carried extra weight, and 7.4 percent were obese.
The weight gain is due to hormones that are secreted when there is not enough sleep. As Montplaisir explained, “When we sleep less, our stomach secretes more of the hormone that stimulates appetite, and we also produce less of the hormone whose function is to reduce the intake of food.” According to Montplaisir, naps don’t make up for the lack of a good nights sleep.
For snorers, this problem is compounded because snoring leads to a lack of sleep, and it is often caused because the snorer is overweight or obese. In these cases, often a lifestyle change such as diet and exercise can help. However when snoring is also due to a physical cause such as obstruction or chronic infection, it is important for the snorer to seek medical treatment from a snoring specialist.
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