Reporting Dr. Maria Simbra
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — So, you’ve made your New Year’s resolutions and you’ve been sticking to it: eating right, exercising regularly. But your weight hasn’t budged. What gives?
Well, maybe it’s your sleep.
Your body needs seven to eight hours of good sound sleep for the proper hormones to keep things in balance.
“If you don’t get enough of that good sleep, your muscles have the tendency to not repair themselves, your metabolism slows down, and you develop an insulin resistance,” said Karen Gannon, of the St. Clair Hospital Sleep Lab.
If you wake up feeling well rested, you probably are getting enough. But if you’re tired through the day, you may have a sleep disorder.
A common one is obstructive sleep apnea, where too much weight and throat tissue stops your breathing and interrupts your sleep.
Your sleeping, breathing and other functions can be monitored overnight in a lab. This can help pinpoint any problems.
However, these formal sleep studies can be inconvenient and expensive. Home sleep studies are an option too; just be aware, quality can vary.
“Some of them don’t grab enough data to be able to diagnose it appropriately, and if it’s not run for enough consecutive nights, if leads come off, then you’re not getting accurate data,” Gannon said.
Whether or not you need a formal sleep study depends a lot of different factors.
“Do you have hypertension, how overweight are you, are you snoring at night, lack of concentration, daytime fatigue,” Gannon said.
Weight gain and lack of sleep seems to be a vicious cycle. But once the trouble is identified and treated, improved night time can lead to improved day time.
“They were able to lose 50 pounds and up on their own, without having any other, gastric bypass surgery or anything like that. I’ve had patients that have gotten promotions,” said Gannon. They’re actually more motivated to do better at their job.”
Obesity rates are still very high in the United States, but they haven’t increased much in recent years. The CDC finds no change in the rate of obesity from 2007 to 2010.
It’s estimated about one in three adults and one in six children and teens are obese, which is defined as being 20 percent or more above your ideal weight.
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