Experts found that sleep apnea, a severe sleep disorder that affects 25 million of Americans, may be fueling weight gain and weight gain may make sleep apnea worse.
The recent findings are in line with past research which had found a link between sleep deprivation and overweight. Several studies had found that constant lack of sleep can be as detrimental to one’s body weight as adding a burrito to our daily diet.
In fact, sleep loss can affect weight as much as a bad diet and lack of exercise do, experts warn. And sleep apnea patients usually have a hard time in getting the recommended seven hours of eye shut.
Sleep apnea prevents patients from breathing up to 30 times per hour. This affects the quality of their sleep and, according to the recent findings, it also undermines their weight loss efforts.
In the U.S., 26 percent of the adult population has some type of sleep apnea. One in 30 patients have a form of sleep apnea that requires medical attention. Nearly half of obese people are affected by the condition. So, there is obviously a link between weight gain and sleep apnea.
A recent analysis found that 90 percent of male participants in the NBC TV show ‘The Biggest Loser’ has some form of sleep apnea. About half of female participants live with the condition. In season eight, researchers found that every single male participant was diagnosed with the sleep disorder.
Researchers explained why sleep apnea can hamper our weight loss efforts. There is solid scientific evidence that sleep deprivation makes us eat more. According to several studies, sleep loss is tied on average to an extra intake of 550 calories per day.
Study investigators believe that lack of sleep disrupts the hormonal balance and negatively impacts satiety cues and feeling of fullness. Sleep deprived persons are also more likely to eat more carbohydrates to make up for the lost sleep.
Even if we are on a low-calorie diet, it is still extremely hard to lose weight when we are sleep deprived, researchers explained. Several studies had shown that participants on the same diet tend to trim less pounds when they are sleep deprived than their peers who get enough nighttime sleep. What’s more, the chronically sleep deprived tend to lose more muscle mass than fat, studies have also found.
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