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Sleep Disorders Can Impact Resolutions
last updated:
Thu, 1/05/2012 11:21 AM

The start of the new year often motivates us to set goals or resolutions for improving our lives in the upcoming year. Did you know that the most popular “New Year’s Resolutions” have a positive impact on the quality of sleep that a person gets? Furthermore, did you know that some sleep disorders can make it almost impossible for a person to meet their goals for the new year without seeking help from a sleep specialist first?
 
Weight loss is the most common new year resolution among friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, and perhaps, even yourself. Did you know that sleep effects your ability to reach your resolution goals? A lifestyle of healthy eating, exercising, and appropriate weight control leads to a better quality of sleep for people of all ages. Quality sleep in turn helps control weight and mood. When we are getting enough quality sleep, our hormone levels and metabolism remain more stable and constant. Therefore, it is easier for our bodies to utilize the fats and sugars in our blood in a healthy way, keeping us from gaining weight.
 
For some, an undiagnosed sleep disorder makes it impossible to stick to their new year’s resolution of losing weight. An estimated 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, which is often associated with people who are overweight. Sleep Apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder in which a person quits breathing for at least 10 seconds or longer while they are sleeping. If a person is overweight and suffering from undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea, he/she may not be as motivated to exercise or to diet. Sleep apnea leads to daytime sleepiness. Excessive daytime sleepiness makes it that much harder to begin and stay with an exercise program. Sleep apnea also contributes to obesity by making it more difficult for a person to process glucose (sugar) in the blood, much like a person with diabetes.
 
Sometimes the best way to treat obesity and stick to your goal can be to treat an underlying sleep problem. Successful treatment of sleep apnea will often motivate patients to effectively lose weight, which will in turn help their challenge of obesity and the sleep apnea.

If you are overweight or obese and sleep poorly or feel tired during the day, you should talk to your primary care clinician about a referral to a sleep center or contact the Sleep Disorders Center directly by calling 901-683-0044. For more information, visit us online at www.methodisthealth.org/sleep.

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Methodist Healthcare is an integrated health care delivery system, dedicated to the art of healing through our faith-based commitment to minister to the whole person. 1211 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38104 • (901) 516-7000

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