Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sleep Apnea May Consume Energy

According to research reported in the Journal of Physiology, missing a night's sleep may cause a person to consume about 161 extra calories, even if the person is lying in bed all night. Sleep apnea may cause a person to consume even more energy.

The information comes from a new, highly sophisticated study of sleep and energy consumption by doctors at the University of Colorado. The researchers put subjects in sealed rooms for three consecutive days during which the subjects were kept in bed both when awake and asleep. Subjects were fed the same amount of calories at the same time every day and their oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide exhalations were measured. This allowed researchers to precisely plot the amount of energy used when awake or asleep.

Researchers discovered that waking was a highly energetic process. Even if a person awoke for just a few seconds, energy consumption shot up precipitously. This may partly contribute to sleep apnea sufferer's reports of fatigue and daytime sleepiness.

Though sleep apnea sufferers consume more energy, they are unlikely to lose weight. Other research has shown that sleep apnea can impact a number of hormones involved in the consumption and storage of energy, making it very hard for sufferers to lose weight.

If you suffer from sleep apnea, it is important that you get treatment as soon as possible to avoid the condition's potentially deadly consequences. To learn more about sleep apnea and its treatment, please call or email a local sleep dentist today.

posted by Dr. Candelaria at 4:30 PM