Sleep and weight loss

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Sleep and weight loss

Your quality of sleep can be seriously affected by being overweight. one of the most common consequences of weight gain is snoring and sleep apnoea.  The chances are you partner or house mates will know more about this than you do. you may be vaguely aware of the special type of fatigue that accompanies this - the sudden falling asleep when you are concentrating on something, or the persistent tiredness when you appear to have slept just fine.

When we gain weight, the body can deposit small, but significant amounts of fat around the throat and around the nasal cavity. The fat around the throat adds just enough weight to make breathing difficult when the throat relaxed and the head and neck relax into certain postures. Sometimes this is indicated by the person seemingly not breathing for a moment followed by a monumental throaty snore that can startle the person awake, not to mention startling everyone around if they are on a train or bus.

The other common type of snoring is known as "palatal flutter".  This is the classic gentle softer snoring, the zzzzzzzzz's (or "sawing logs") where the soft palate of the mouth flutters when it relaxes during sleep as air flows over.  As sleep deepens and the breathing deepens, this can lead to the other classic nasal snoring.

Whilst the snorer may be unaware of this happening, their general well being may well be affected as the normal patterns of sleep are inhibit and regular waking occurs throughout the night, even if the person never quite reaches full consciousness and has no memory of this happening.

The other downside of this is that a person who sleeps badly will often eat badly too, as they will often crave sweet, high energy snack foods as a result.

So, in the meantime, there is something worth examining:  your bed.

In order to improve the quality of sleep it is worth improving your sleeping environment.  Curiously, despite spending nearly a third of our lives in bed, most of us rarely ever buy a new mattress, new pillows or new bedding. The trend appears to be one mattress for life, until we move house.

The other quite worrying statistic is just how rarely people change or wash their duvet and bedding!

The same seems to be true for pillows.

So, improve your bedding.  Make sure that your linen is regularly cleaned, you mattress is recent or in very good condition and of a suitable firmness/softness.  Make sure your pillows are good quality and provide the appropriate support.

Check the ventilation in your room and also try lowering the temperature in the room too.

Remember: Losing weight will help you sleep better. Sleeping better will help you lose weight.


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