Archive for the ‘Diabetes’ Category

Sleep and Metabolic Syndrome

Monday, April 8th, 2013

mid section view of a man sitting on a bench in a park

In recent years, physicians and researchers have observed a growing percentage of the population afflicted with “Metabolic Syndrome”. The condition, which currently affects roughly 25% of the US adult population, refers to a group of risk factors that occur together and increase chances of coronary artery disease, stroke, Type 2 Diabetes, kidney disease, and early mortality.  As more attention is given to ailment, its connections to sleep disorders are now being examined.

One of the greatest health risks to today’s population is obesity. Roughly one third of Americans are considered obese (Body Mass Index > 30) and that percentage is predicted to double by 2030. Obesity is the primary cause for development of metabolic syndrome and is also a primary risk factor for some sleep disorders. Sleep quality and quantity can greatly impact the elements that make up metabolic syndrome. Multiple studies have shown that Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a condition in which a sleeping person’s airway collapses repeatedly and causes disrupted slumber, leads to increased insulin resistance, stroke, heart attacks, and may contribute to weight gain.

Chronically shortened sleep duration may also wreck havoc with metabolism. Adults who sleep less than 6 hours per night have a 45% higher chance of having metabolic syndrome and for each hour less of sleep there is a .35 increase in BMI. Those with shortened sleep also have increased levels of the hormone Ghrelin, which stimulates appetite. Coupled with daytime fatigue and a sedentary lifestyle, these influences can lead to obesity and increase the possibility of developing metabolic syndrome.

Fortunately, reversing metabolic syndrome is possible through lifestyle changes and medical intervention. Weight loss and exercise can help curb its effects and medications can be used to control blood sugar levels and heart disease. Properly treating sleep disorders can have dramatic effects on health in general and correcting the sleep disruptions caused by OSA may help to lessen the risks that become categorized as metabolic syndrome. If you are overweight, you may be at risk for this disorder. Talk to your doctor to learn more about how to address the problem through a process of lifestyle changes and medical treatment. Contact Oregon Sleep Associates to get screened for sleep disorders as part of this process.

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Exercise Lowers Apnea Levels and Benefits Sleep

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Exercising

The obesity epidemic sweeping our nation has dramatic effects on health. Exercising is not only a key component in losing weight, but it may also affect the severity of Obstructive Sleep Apnea and help you sleep at night.

Researchers enrolled forty-three sedentary and overweight adults aged 18-55 years with at least moderate untreated OSA in a 12-week study to evaluate the efficacy of exercise as a treatment for sleep apnea. The participants were divided into two groups: One met 4 times per week and performed 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, followed by resistance training twice a week. The other group was the control and met twice weekly to perform low-intensity exercises designed to increase whole-body flexibility. Both groups underwent sleep studies before and after the exercise trial to determine severity of apnea. The results of the trial, published in the journal SLEEP, showed that the group that exercised weekly experienced a moderate reduction in their Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI), the measurement of the average number of breathing events per hour of sleep. The group that was limited to stretching did not experience this reduction.

Interestingly, the exercise group members did not experience any weight loss as a result of the exercise, suggesting the benefit of a reduced AHI was not in relation to losing weight. The researchers point out that further studies need to be done on this subject but speculate that “possible mechanisms of improvement in OSA following exercise training include a general strengthening and fatigue resistance of the ventilatory and upper airway dilator muscles, attenuation of respiratory instability from reduced sleep fragmentation, decreased nasal resistance, and prevention of lower-extremity fluid accumulation.”

Exercise is not a replacement for effective treatment such as CPAP or an oral appliance but a regular exercise program may help reduce your apnea severity.

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Sleep Loss May Cause Stress-like Immune System Response

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Another clue about how lack of sleep may affect general health:

New research published in the journal SLEEP details a study of sleep deprivation on immune system response in health adult males. The study measured white blood cell numbers and patterns in 15 healthy young men. Samples were taken while the subjects were adhering to a normal sleep schedule and then after they had been deprived of sleep for 29 hours. The sleep deprivrivation led the researchers to conclude “Granulocyte levels and diurnal rhythmicity are directly affected by acute sleep deprivation; these changes mirror the body’s immediate immune response upon exposure to stress.”

Sleep deprivation has also been linked to hypertension, insulin resistance, and obesity. Further research into the immune response to a lack of sleep may shed light on connections to overall health.

For more information and news about sleep medicine, visit OSA’s website, or if you’re in the Portland area and would like to be screened for sleep disorders contact us directly at 503-288-5201.

 

 

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