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.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Study Suggests Link between Vitamin D Deficiency, Daytime Drowsiness and Sleep Apnea


A recent study indicates a significant link between daytime drowsiness and low levels of vitamin D, and it also suggests that those with a vitamin D deficiency may be at an increased risk for developing sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

The study, which was led by a team with members from the Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Sciences Center and the LSU School of Medicine, focused on 81 participants who reported sleep problems and nonspecific pain. A majority of the patients were diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, and all of the patients were eventually diagnosed with some type of sleep disorder.

The findings of the study, which are published in the new issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, demonstrated that higher levels of daytime drowsiness directly correlated with lower levels of vitamin D. One unexpected, but not entirely surprising, result of the study was that it indicated the disparity between vitamin D levels and sleepiness was especially high among African-American participants; the study’s authors said this is logical, because increased skin pigmentation is a risk factor for vitamin D deficiency.

Like obstructive sleep apnea, a vitamin D deficiency can contribute to a heightened risk for cardiovascular disease and other health problems. Vitamin D is essential for, among other things, building and maintaining strong bones.

People can produce vitamin D naturally through exposure to sunlight, and vitamin D can also be ingested through certain foods such as fish and eggs, as well as foods and beverages fortified with vitamin D. Researchers involved in the LSU study said the relationship between a vitamin D deficiency, daytime sleepiness and sleep apnea needs deeper probing.

If you suffer from daytime drowsiness, chronic snoring or other symptoms of sleep apnea, a dentist who is experienced in the field of dental sleep medicine may be able to recommend a comfortable and effective treatment.

Please contact IHateCPAP.com to locate a qualified sleep dentist near you.

posted by Steve at 9:15 AM