Bad Night’s Sleep and Obesity



  “About 65% of Americans are now overweight or Obese and 24 million have Sleep Apnea.” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.




Finally, the closed relationship between obesity and interrupted bad night’s sleep has been established.

The worst part of this is that not only does obesity has an association with interrupted sleep, as a result mostly of sleep apnea, but that this as well tends to cause people to eat more. There seems to be a relationship between obesity, hunger and satiety hormones and sleep deprivation, though the exact nature of this relationship is beginning to be understood. So, it’s a vicious cycle; Obesity, can lead to sleep apnea, which, itself, then causes derangements of hormones that control eating habits, leading to more weight gain, worsened blood pressure, glucose intolerance, worsened apnea and the cycle goes on and on. These events lead to a deterioration of an individual’s health and the increased risk of suffering high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, strokes, diabetes type II, memory loss and all the known well medical problems associated with obesity.

GORDITAObesity and Sleep Apnea are closely linked and it explains the voracious appetite and the binging behavior of overweight individuals who desperately try to lose weight with poor results. Diagnosing and treating the sleep apnea is beneficial for the proper and ideal body weight.
Dr. Van Cauter’s research at the University of Chicago shows that “people who don’t sleep adequately have physiologic abnormalities that may increase appetite and calorie intake, the level of Leptin [an appetite suppressing hormone] falls in subjects who are sleep deprived, which promotes appetite. The levels of Ghrelin( an appetite stimulating ) increases in subjects who are sleep deprived, which promotes appetite.” It suggests that at least multiples factors in obesity can be sleep deprivation. Poor sleep and sleep deprivation may increase appetite. Because the psychological manifestations of fatigue, sleep and hunger are similar, as adults. This study explains the voracious appetite and the binging experienced by individuals who are sleep deprived especially those who suffer obstructive sleep apnea.
Dr. Alan R. Schwartz eloquent study on “Obesity and Obstructive Sleep Apnea”, in the reputable journal of the  Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society, acknowledges this relationship and states, “Obstructive sleep apnea is a common disorder whose prevalence is linked to an epidemic of obesity in Western society. Sleep apnea is due to recurrent episodes of upper airway obstruction during sleep that are caused by elevations in upper airway collapsibility during sleep.”

He also states, “Examining responses to specific weight loss strategies will provide critical insight into mechanisms linking obesity and sleep apnea, and will help to elucidate the humoral and molecular predictors of weight loss responses.”

Among the most common sleep disorders are insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA causes people to stop breathing intermittently throughout the night. Obstructive sleep apnea affects an estimated 24% of men and 9% of women; About 10% of adults have chronic insomnia

Obstructive sleep apnea, or simply sleep apnea, can cause fragmented sleep, sleep deprivation, and low blood oxygen levels. For people with sleep apnea, the combination of disturbed sleep and oxygen starvation may lead to hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, mood and memory problems. Sleep apnea also increases the risk of drowsy driving.

Screenshot 21Numerous studies show that sleep deprivation and sleep apnea may increase the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Some of these studies conclude the following:

  • Several epidemiological studies report a correlation between short sleep duration and higher mean BMI and/or obesity.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea is a common disorder whose prevalence is linked to an epidemic of obesity
  • Studies of young, healthy males show that sleep deprivation over as few as two nights results in decreased glucose tolerance and increased appetite for carbohydrate-rich foods.The observed increase in hunger, if translated into actual ingestion of the desired foods, would correlate to an excess of 350-500 kcal/day.
  • Longer term studies suggest that chronic sleep deprivation may result in reduced insulin sensitivity.
  • Population studies indicate that chronic short sleep duration is correlated with an increased risk of type diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance, after adjusting for potential confounding effects including age, sex, BMI, and waist circumference.
The statistics are alarming: About 65% of Americans are now overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of obese adults (those with a Body Mass Index of 30 or more) jumped from 15% in 1980 to 27% in 1999. More than 15% of children from 6 to 19 years were overweight in 2000, which is three times higher than in 1980. This obesity could increase the chances of developing diabetes which at the same time can lead to hypertension and increased risk of heart attack. It also damages the eyes, kidneys, and other vital organs. The earlier one develops the disease, the greater the potential for long-term damage, especially if the diabetes isn’t diagnosed and brought under treatment.

obesity and osa
The problem is more serious for adults. An estimated 24 million Americans have obstructive sleep apnea, 80 % are undiagnosed and not treated, which is often associated with people who are overweight. “As the person gains weight, especially in the trunk and neck. Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep. The “apnea” in sleep apnea refers to a breathing pause that lasts, at least, ten seconds. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, despite efforts to breathe. Another form of sleep apnea is central sleep apnea, in which the brain fails to properly control breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is far more common than central sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Facts & Figures

  • 20% of the adult population is estimated to suffer from mild-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea, which is the most prevalent form of sleep-disordered breathing.
  • As the incidence of obesity increases, the number of patients suffering from sleep apnea is expected to increase.
  • More than 50% of patients with type 2 diabetes have sleep apnea.
  • Up to 90% of patients with sleep apnea remain undiagnosed.3 Patients with untreated sleep apnea are at increased risk of having a traffic accident.4

 Defining Sleep Apnea

aaa osa

In patients with obstructive sleep apnea, the soft tissues in the upper airway relax during sleep and block the flow of air. The respiratory effort continues during this time.


  • An apnea is a complete occlusion of the airway and subsequent cessation of airflow for at least ten seconds.
  • Patients who suffer from apneas also tend to exhibit hypopneas, a partial occlusion of the airway that results in a 25-50% reduction in airflow.
  • Both apneas and hypopneas lead to oxygen desaturation and intermittent hypoxia.
  • Sleep apnea is classified as mild, moderate, or severe 


In 2015, for example, Gangwisch and his colleagues have reported a connection between getting less than seven hours of sleep a night and high body mass index. Separate studies in sleep labs suggest how inadequate sleep could lead to obesity: it drives up the levels of appetite-inducing hormones.

The weight gain that might be caused by inadequate shut-eye could, in turn, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, Gangwisch said. In addition, sleep deficits seem to increase blood pressure as several studies have found, which could be bad for heart health.

One small study found that healthy adults had higher blood pressure after a night when they were only allowed to sleep four hours compared with a night when they were allowed to sleep for eight hours.

It is hard to say, however, if depriving people of sleep for an extended period would have lasting effects on blood pressure and appetite, even though studies linking sleep deprivation with heart disease and weight gain suggest so.

. Obstructive sleep apnea, in particular, can take a toll in many ways beyond just shortening the amount of sleep you get, Watson said. The condition can increase blood pressure (separately from the effect of not getting enough sleep), deprive the body of oxygen, cause irregular heartbeat and make the blood more sticky, all of which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, he said.

A study that was presented this week at the European Society of Cardiology meeting found that men who had a sleep disorder were between 2 and 2.6 times more likely to have a heart attack and 1.5 to 4 times more likely to have a stroke over the 14-year period of the study

Screenshot 20
Although most of us already know that we should get at least seven hours of sleep, a study last month suggested that Americans are creeping down to that cutoff. The average amount of sleep that they reported getting a night has dropped from 7.4 hours in 1985 to 7.29 hours in 1990 to 7.18 in 2004 and 2012.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called “Not getting enough sleep a public health epidemic.”
In summary, sleep Apnea and Obesity are closely linked and it explains the voracious appetite and the binging behavior of individuals who desperately try to lose weight with poor results. At the same times it opens the discussion that good sleeping habits should be part of a diet regimen; furthermore, individual who are overweight or obese and have sleeping problems should consult a board certified sleep medicine physician whom will give you the proper diagnosis and treatment in conjunction with the appropriate sleep studies at an accredited facility by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, AASM


AASM ACCREDITEDObesity, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, insomnia and other sleep disorders can be treated and diagnosed in a facility properly accredited by the AASM. An overnight sleep study is the method most common and efficient for the evaluation of these conditions. If you or someone close to you has sleep disorders and obesity, take it seriously, talk to your doctor or call our Sleeping center, which is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, AASM, to be able to assist you.

VIDA SLEEP CENTER & SPA   543 45th St. Union City N.J. TEL. 201-766-6471

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