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Mon Apr 21, 2014, 04:42 PM

You Are What You Sleep

Hi, I'm doing some research for a proposal about a patient education program sort of like the "Back to sleep" for babies---the one in which infants were put on their back in order to prevent SIDS---in which i am trying to find journal articles and studies that suggest that sleep can have certain specific beneficial effects and that certain sleep positions can have certain beneficial effects for adults. Some of the stuff I have come across is interesting.

If anyone wants the journal links for research send me a private message. Remember that most of these are retrospective studies. If the study is prospective with a control I will try to say so.

Most interesting to me (because I have an interest in infant mortality) 2013 study in Ghana, they asked women who delivered about their sleep during pregnancy, found a statistical association between 1) snoring and pre-eclampsia and 2) back sleeping (as opposed to side sleeping) and low birth weight and still birth. Association does not prove causality. Suggests that sleep disordered breathing (twice as prevalent among Africans and sometimes unmasked during pregnancy) could contribute to poor pregnancy outcome. Another reason to side sleep in pregnancy?

A recent prospective in which participants have serves as their own controls: the participants were given a regular nights sleep and allowed to choose unlimited food. They tended to choose healthy food in healthy calories. On the other nights, they were sleep deprived. After sleep deprivation, the same participants tended to choose high calorie foods with more fats---almost as if their body turned up its hunger thermostat in an attempt to make up for sleep deprivation. The moral here: If you are on a diet, get a good night's sleep or you will have a hard time sticking to the diet. Second moral, telling someone with severe OSA due to obesity "Just lose weight" may be sort of mean.

Another recent prospective study in which participants served as their own controls. After a full nights sleep, codeine had a certain effect for pain. After being sleep deprived, codeine in the same people with the same pain was less effective. Moral: if you have chronic pain issues, be sure to get enough sleep.

Another recent study, 115 people had sleep studies and A1c, disruption in REM sleep was associated with poor glucose control. If you use CPAP and throw the mask off in the middle of the night, this may be why your blood sugar is so high. Moral, dream sleep may do more than help us remember things.

And this review article might be interesting too (abstract below):

Do all sedentary activities lead to weight gain: sleep does not. [Review]
Chaput JP. Klingenberg L. Sjodin A.
Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care. 13(6):601-7, 2010 Nov.
[Journal Article. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't. Review]
UI: 20823775

AB PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To discuss the benefits of having a good night's sleep for body weight stability. RECENT FINDINGS: Experimental studies have shown that short-term partial sleep restriction decreases glucose tolerance, increases sympathetic tone, elevates cortisol concentrations, decreases the satiety hormone leptin, increases the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin, and increases hunger and appetite. Short sleep duration might increase the risk of becoming obese, because it does not allow the recovery of a hormonal profile facilitating appetite control. Lack of sleep could also lead to weight gain and obesity by increasing the time available for eating and by making the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle more difficult. Furthermore, the increased fatigue and tiredness associated with sleeping too little could lessen one's resolve to follow exercise regimens. SUMMARY: Short sleep duration appears to be a novel and independent risk factor for obesity. With the growing prevalence of chronic sleep restriction, any causal association between reduced sleep and obesity would have substantial importance from a public health standpoint. Future research is needed to determine whether sleep extension in sleep-deprived obese individuals will influence appetite control and/or reduce the amount of body fat

I have sleep apnea, so I know the importance of sleep. But a lot of people who do not have sleep disorders treat sleep as if it is a luxury that only rich people with nannies can afford. Single mothers working and trying to go to school and trying to raise their kids may stay up late at night cleaning the house once the kids are asleep even though they have to get up at 5 am in the morning. What I am reading should be a warning to all of us. When you sacrifice sleep time so that you can do all the 1001 things you have to do each day, you are harming your health---and in the long run that will not do you or your family any good. Let the clothes go unfolded. Get your 7 or 8 or 9 hours of sleep.

Sleep is not a luxury. It is as essential as water and food. If someone told you that you do not "deserve" food you would laugh in their face. If someone tells you that you do not deserve sleep, laugh just as hard.


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Reply You Are What You Sleep (Original post)
McCamy Taylor Apr 2014 OP
Warpy Apr 2014 #1

Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Mon Apr 21, 2014, 04:45 PM

1. Telling anybody to "just lose weight" is mean.

it's certainly none of their business.

But yes, sleep disorders are a lot more prevalent than once thought and they can have profound health consequences.

As long as I crash at or after 2 AM, I'm fine. Any earlier bedtime and I'm up at four, bright eyed and with a head full of mush if I don't manage cat naps during the day.

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