Feb 28

Obese PicThe new year has begun and already the New Year’s Resolutions of losing weight and adopting a healthier lifestyle are beginning to fade. I can see it in the decrease in the amount of people that frequent my local healthclub. They started out with a bang, but are now starting to fizzle. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), obesity in adults has increased by 60% within the past twenty years and obesity in children has tripled in the past thirty years. An alarming 33% of American adults are obese and obesity-related deaths have climbed to more than 300,000 a year, second only to tobacco-related deaths. America is losing the battle of the buldge, and it is doing far more than just making us look unattractive.

Is America’s Obesity Epidemic Affecting our quality of sleep?

The answer would be a resounding YES! Of the many negative effects that obesity has on our health, none could be more damaging than our ability to get a good nights sleep. It is a fact that people that are overweight are prone to developing Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It is the accumulation of fat around the neck that poses the greatest threat to a patent airway. Excessive neck fat tends to cause the soft tissues around the airway to collapse, hence cutting off the flow of oxygen to the lungs and brain. Obstructive sleep apnea can kill, so it’s important to take steps to treat it.

Losing weight by adopting a healthy diet and exercise routine will most likely reduce the severity of sleep apnea in these people. Also, treatments such as CPAP, and oral dental appliances that move the lower jaw forward are critical in treating obstructive sleep apnea in the obese population.

Tagged with:
Feb 26

Sleep allows us to recover from the time we spend awake, and helps us to reenergize our bodies and minds for the day to come. Sleep provides biochemical refreshment, and allows key metabolic processes to take place. It is critical for our immune system, as it allows the immune system to reset itself. Sleep also plays a pivotal role in learning and memory consolidation, as well as the assimilation of new ideas and information. Getting the proper amount of sleep is critical as well. Studies have shown that getting too little or too much sleep can result in harmful systemic problems, such as cardiovascular disease, depression, obesity, and even cancer. A healthy adult should sleep for about 8 hours, while an infant may sleep up to twice that amount. Unfortunately for parents, this doesn’t mean 16 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Wouldn’t that be nice?

With the ever increasing demands that modern society places upon us each day, it is even more important than ever to be aware of your sleep quality. There are a host of sleep disorders that are present throughout the world’s population. If you are not sleeping 8 hours per night, or you’re feeling tired during the day, consult with a sleep physician. A polysomnogram, otherwise know as a sleep study that is performed in a sleep laboratory, would be an excellent way to evaluate the quality of your sleep. If a problem is found and you are diagnosed with a form of obstructive sleep apnea, treatments such as CPAP or an oral dental appliance, made by a dentist trained to treat sleep apnea, can be very effective.

Tagged with:
Nov 10

A group of physicians from the Baylor College of Medicine are using video technology to get a closer view of a patient’s airway. In the past, surgery of the soft palate was used quite often to treat obstructive sleep apnea. This was not always a successful treatment. Unfortunately there are many other factors within the airway that can cause an obstruction. By using a video camera that is inserted into the patients nose while the patient is sleeping, a more definitive diagnosis of the cause of a patient’s apnea can be determined.

Tagged with: