Weight Gain & Loss: Good Sleep Is Essential To Optimum Weight and Metabolic Health

Dr. Shapira Sleep Weight Gain and Loss 0 Comments

“How am I gaining all this weight?”

Have you experienced weight gain recently? Are you surprised that you are putting on weight? Do you sleep well, or do you find yourself having problems sleeping and are constantly tired?

Even the most careful calorie counter needs to exercise regularly and it’s hard to get much exercise when you are constantly feeling tired. Of course, putting on weight is not just a matter of exercise; it’s down to how much you eat and what you eat, too. It’s easy to eat comfort food when you are tired!

How well you sleep affects your weight

Sleep disorders and weight gain are both related. When it’s hard to get enough sleep, it’s much easier to experience weight gain. Unfortunately, the more surplus fat you have, the worse some sleep disorders can be, especially sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a disorder that occurs when you can’t breathe properly at night and keep waking up, often suddenly, gasping for breath. The lack of sleep makes you tired all day. Sleep apnea is caused by several different factors, but when you put on weight it can make it more difficult to breathe and you might find yourself snoring more, too.

Patients are often unaware of their own sleep problems but significant others often notice snoring, pauses in breathing or restles sleep.  When your deep sleep is disturbed it can do a lot more than just make you tired or result in poor concentration.  Poor sleep can wreak havoc on your endocrine systems.  Growth Hormone is produrced almost entirely during your first epoch of Delta Sleep.  If you wake because of apnea or hpopnea it halts all production of Growth Hormone.  In children Growth Hormone makes you grow taller, in adults it drives production of muscle from fat stores; without growth hormone you just produce more fat.

Poor sleep alters insulin resistance and can lead to hyperglycemia, increased hunger and snacking and less effective utilization of sugars leading to weight gain.

Thyroid hormone production also ocurs during sleep, poor sleep can recue thyroid hormone levels leading to slower metabolism and weight gain.  Changes in estrogen and testosterone levels can also change muscle mass.  Higher levels of testosterone tend to increase muscle and decrease fat.

As you gain more weight the sleep apnea gets worse and your sleep is more disturbed. You have even less energy to exercise, so the vicious cycle of poor eating, lack of sleep and no exercise continues unabated. You have a number of issues to address before you can get your life back to normal so that you can eat well, sleep well and exercise well.

Ditch your diet for dentistry

You can help to solve this problem by monitoring what you eat, but another avenue you might want to explore is to look for a dental solution. We can fit an appliance into your mouth that will allow you to breathe more easily. There are several devices which are used for those with sleep apnea.

When one consideres sleep apnea as a decrease in oxygenation it is similar to having a dirty carburetor on your car.  Without enough oxygen fuel is burned inefficiently and turns to fat.

They all help by adjusting the position of the tongue in your mouth. By moving the tongue into a more suitable position, the airway down into your lungs will be clearer and you will breathe more easily. The improvement in the quality of your breathing will mean better quality sleep will take place and you will have more energy to exercise.

Get back to sleep and lose the pounds

Before you come to us for a dental solution you should get a health evaluation to assure yourself that there are no underlying health issues causing your sleep and weight problems.

If it is discovered that you are suffering from a sleep disorder like sleep apnea, then we can help you to get back to sleep and lose the pounds by improving your breathing with a modern, dental device.

When your sleep better you tend to be more active during the day and burn off far more calories than when your chronically tired.

Sleep Related Weight Gain

Dr. Shapira weight and sleep problems 0 Comments

Sleep related weight gain: What’s my weight got to do with my sleep?

sleep-related-weight-gainWeight problems are relatively new health issues for us humans. Unfortunately, easy access to fatty and sweet foods can mean that some people become unhealthily overweight. Have you found that it is hard to sleep? Do you consider yourself overweight? If you are overweight, it may be the cause of your sleep disorder.

Weight-related sleep disorders are due to breathing problems. One common sleep disorder is called overweight obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). More than 50% of people who suffer from this are regarded as medically overweight as defined by their body mass index (BMI).  It is important to remember thar people may be heavy because of sleep disordered breathing. There are many thin patients who also have sleep apnea who exhibit different symptoms.

The link between weight and sleep problems

One of the main reasons people gain weight is due to poor sleep that causes slower metabolism through changes in Thyroid hormone levels, Growth Hormone levels and insulin resistance.  Sleep also affects the levels of Leptin and  Ghrelin  the hunger hormones.  Cortisol levels are also increased dramaticlly with poor sleep patterns which cause weight gain and anxiety and stress disorders.

Ghrelin is the appetizer increaser that is produces in the stomache and signls hunger in the brain.  Ghrelin levels have been found to increase in children with anorexia nervosa and decrease in children who are obese.  Ghrelin  levels go up dramatically before you eat; this signals hunger then go down for about three hours after eating.

Leptin is known as an appetite suppressor and effects our bodies energy balance. Leptin may help regulate ghrelin  Leptin is one of the signals to the brain that the body has enough energy stores in body fat. Obese people  often don’t respond to leptin’s signals even though they have higher levels of leptin.  Changes in all these complex systems working together determine our ability to maintain a healthy weight and sleep is an essential element in this regulation.  Sleep Eating is a major cause of weight gain in many patients.  The etiology is not completely understood but unquestionably is related to these complex relationships that are upset by poor sleep.

If a person is carrying excess weight, there is more soft tissue in the mouth and throat. If you have too much weight, you may find that you find yourself snoring just a bit too often because as the throat and tongue muscles relax, the extra soft tissue can cause a blockage of the airways.

Continual loss of sleep might sometimes eventually lead to more serious health problems, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. If you are extremely overweight you may have what is called obesity sleep apnea, which could take you even closer to developing serious health problems.

How do I get back to sleep?

Sleep Maintenace is the ability to fall aslleep and have healthy consolidated sleep all night long.  Waking up numerous time during the night is a sign of poor sleep consolidation.  Many patients think they wake  because they have to go to the bathroom but in reality they decide they need the bathroom because of disturbed sleep.

A dental visit may prove to be helpful as it is possible to use different types of appliances in the mouth at night to allow you to breathe better while asleep. The use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is commonly used to treat sleep apnea, as it allows a continuous flow of air throughout the night. CPAP is generally recommended by doctors, but is often found by patients to be uncomfortable and noisy.

There are other dental appliances available which serve as good alternatives to CPAP.For example, the tongue restraining device (TRD) and the mandibular advancement device (MAD). These fit into your mouth to help keep your air passages clear.  Dr Shapira has over 30 years experience in treating sleep disorders and you can trust him to find the best oral appliance for you.

Find out what’s right for you

If you are trying to lose weight but you still find it is hard to sleep, it may be time to look for serious relief from your sleep disorder. Being able to sleep better will also help you regain the confidence you need to tackle your weight.

We can help you get a better night’s sleep by using modern dentistry techniques; this will start with a thorough examination to find out what is possible to help solve your sleep problem. A dental visit can be a useful first step to get you back on track to a healthier and more comfortable lifestyle.