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.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Losing Weight, Belly Fat Can Improve Sleep, May Reduce Sleep Apnea Symptoms

The link between being overweight and an increased risk for developing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have long been known, but a recent study indicates that losing weight—particularly belly fat—can help you sleep better and may even reduce instances of apnea in those with OSA.

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine recently studied 77 overweight volunteers, many of whom suffered sleep disorders including sleep apnea. The volunteers were split into two groups, one of which engaged in a weight-loss plan that included dietary changes and supervised exercise while the other group followed only the diet.

Overall, the participants from both groups lost an average of 15 pounds over six months and reduced belly fat by 15 percent. According to the study, the findings of which were presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, belly fat reduction was the best predictor of improved sleep, and patients with OSA reported fewer instances of interrupted breathing during sleep.

Although the study did not determine why reducing belly fat seems to be a key to improved sleep, the particular type of fat that accumulates around the abdomen—which is also known as visceral fat—has been linked to an increased risk for OSA, heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and other health problems. Sleep apnea, in turn, can increase a person’s risk for conditions including high blood pressure and stroke.

If you or your partner suffers from loud, chronic snoring or other symptoms of sleep apnea, it’s important to undergo an evaluation as soon as possible. Although OSA is a potentially life-threatening condition, there are also a number of effective treatment options available through the field of dental sleep medicine.

Please contact IHateCPAP.com to learn more about sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment, and to locate a qualified sleep dentist near you.

posted by Anonymous at 1:15 PM