Tag Archive for: Sleep issues

The Connection Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Weight Gain

Understanding the Connection Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Weight Gain

At Comprehensive Sleep Care Center, we understand the intricate relationship between sleep disorders and overall health. One such condition that often goes undiagnosed but can have significant implications on weight management is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. This interruption in breathing is typically caused by the relaxation of throat muscles, leading to the obstruction of the airway. OSA not only disrupts sleep patterns but also impacts various aspects of physical and mental well-being.

The Link Between OSA and Weight Gain

Research has shown a bidirectional relationship between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and weight gain. Individuals with excess weight are at a higher risk of developing OSA due to factors such as increased neck circumference and fat deposits around the upper airway. Conversely, OSA can contribute to weight gain or hinder weight loss efforts through several mechanisms:

  1. Metabolic Changes: Sleep deprivation and disrupted sleep patterns associated with OSA can affect hormones involved in appetite regulation, such as leptin and ghrelin. This imbalance may lead to increased cravings for high-calorie foods and impaired metabolism of carbohydrates, contributing to weight gain.
  2. Energy Expenditure: The fragmented sleep characteristic of OSA can result in daytime fatigue and decreased physical activity levels. Reduced energy expenditure coupled with increased calorie intake can create an imbalance that promotes weight gain over time.
  3. Insulin Resistance: OSA has been linked to insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes and weight gain. Insulin resistance can impair the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels and promote fat storage, further exacerbating weight-related issues.

Treating Sleep Apnea to Aid in Weight Loss

Addressing Obstructive Sleep Apnea is crucial not only for improving sleep quality and overall health but also for supporting weight management goals. At Comprehensive Sleep Care Center, we offer comprehensive diagnostic and treatment options to help individuals effectively manage OSA and its associated complications.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and weight gain are closely intertwined, with each condition influencing the other in a complex interplay. By recognizing the connection between OSA and weight management, individuals can take proactive steps to address both issues simultaneously. At Comprehensive Sleep Care Center, we are dedicated to helping our patients achieve quality sleep, optimal health, and successful weight management through comprehensive care and support.

If you suspect you may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our experienced team. Together, we can develop a tailored treatment plan to improve your sleep quality, enhance your overall well-being, and support your weight loss journey.

Contact Comprehensive Sleep Care Center today to take the first step towards better sleep and a healthier lifestyle.

 

Top Ten Foods to Avoid for a Good Night’s Sleep

Top Ten foods to avoid to get a good night’s sleep

Do you find yourself tossing and turning at night, struggling to get a good night’s sleep? The solution might be as simple as watching what you eat before bedtime. What you consume in the hours leading up to sleep can have a significant impact on the quality of your slumber. At Comprehensive Sleep Care Center, we understand the importance of a restful night’s sleep, which is why we’re here to help you make informed choices about your pre-sleep snacks. In this blog, we’ll explore the top ten foods to avoid before bedtime to ensure you wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

1. Caffeine

It’s no surprise that caffeine tops our list. Coffee, tea, and even some sodas contain caffeine, a stimulant that can disrupt your sleep. The half-life of caffeine varies from person to person, but it can remain in your system for several hours, affecting your ability to fall asleep and the quality of your sleep once you do.

2. Alcohol

While a nightcap may seem like a good idea, alcohol can disrupt your sleep cycle. It may initially make you feel drowsy, but it can lead to fragmented and less restorative sleep. To enjoy a better night’s sleep, consider limiting alcohol intake, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime.

3. Spicy Foods

Spicy foods can cause heartburn and indigestion, making it difficult to relax and fall asleep comfortably. Avoid spicy dishes before bedtime and opt for milder alternatives to prevent these discomforts.

4. High-Fat Foods

High-fat foods, such as greasy or fried items, can be difficult to digest and may lead to discomfort during the night. These foods can also trigger acid reflux, leading to disrupted sleep. Opt for lighter, easily digestible meals closer to bedtime.

5. Heavy or Large Meals

Eating large meals or heavy portions late at night can be problematic for your sleep. Your body works to digest the food, which can cause discomfort and even lead to sleep-disrupting heartburn. Try to finish your last substantial meal at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.

6. Sugary Snacks

Sugary treats like candy, chocolate, and desserts can lead to energy spikes and crashes, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. High sugar consumption before bed can also lead to nighttime awakenings, so choose healthier options for your evening snacks.

7. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits, like oranges and grapefruits, are acidic and can cause heartburn or acid reflux. If you’re prone to these conditions, it’s best to avoid citrus fruits before bedtime.

8. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are also acidic and can contribute to heartburn, especially when consumed close to bedtime. Consider limiting tomato-based sauces or dishes in the evening.

9. High-Protein Foods

Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, and consuming too much protein late at night can make it challenging to fall asleep. If you want a bedtime snack, choose something light and low in protein.

10. Carbonated Drinks

Carbonated beverages, such as soda and sparkling water, can lead to gas and bloating, which can be uncomfortable while trying to sleep. Opt for plain water or herbal tea as a more sleep-friendly choice.

 

A good night’s sleep is crucial for your physical and mental well-being, and what you eat before bedtime can significantly affect the quality of your rest. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, spicy, high-fat, and heavy meals, as well as sugary snacks, citrus fruits, tomatoes, high-protein foods, and carbonated drinks can go a long way in promoting better sleep. Instead, consider lighter, sleep-friendly alternatives like herbal tea, whole-grain crackers, or a small portion of a dairy product.

At Comprehensive Sleep Care Center, we encourage you to make mindful choices about your pre-sleep snacks and invest in the restorative sleep your body deserves. If you have sleep related issues contact our sleep medicine providers at Comprehensive Sleep Care Center and Say Hello to Sleep Again…

 

8 Tips to Improve Your Sleep

8 Tips to Improve Your Sleep

Research suggests that 40% of the adult population does not get the recommended 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. So what can you do to improve your sleep?

Healthy sleep habits can make a big difference in your quality of life. Getting the recommended amount of sleep on a regular basis is linked with better health, including improved attention and memory, the ability to control emotions, your overall quality of life, and mental and physical health.

Adults that regularly get less than seven hours of sleep a night have been linked with poor health, including weight gain, having a body mass index of 30 or higher, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and depression.

Almost all of us could use a better night’s sleep. Yet improving your sleep can seem like a daunting, complicated, and even impossible task. Luckily, there are a few basic, easy to follow tips that can help to improve sleep.

HERE ARE 8 TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP:

  1. Turn off the tech. The blue light emitted from screens wakes you up and turning on night mode doesn’t solve the problem. Watching shows or reading articles stimulates the brain and makes it harder to fall asleep. Try reading a familiar book instead.

 

  1. Keep a consistent sleep schedule. This helps to regulate your body’s clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.

 

  1. Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual. A relaxing wind down routine before bedtime, conducted away from bright lights, helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety which can make it more difficult to fall asleep, get sound and deep sleep, or remain asleep.

 

  1. Exercise daily. Exercise and sleep are both part of a healthy lifestyle. But exercise can interfere with a good night’s rest if it’s done too close to bedtime. Avoid exercise at least 3 hours before you plan on sleeping. This allows your body enough time to relax before falling asleep.

 

  1. Improve your sleep environmentDesign your sleep environment to establish the conditions you need for sleep. Your bedroom should be cool – between 65 and 68 degrees. Your bedroom should also be free from any noise that can disturb your sleep. Finally, your bedroom should be free from any light. Check your room for noises or other distractions. This includes a bed partner’s sleep disruptions such as snoring. Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, “white noise” machines, humidifiers, fans and other devices.

 

  1. Sleep on a comfortable mattress. Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 8 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses.

 

  1. Watch your diet before bed. Eating big or spicy meals can cause discomfort from indigestion that can make it hard to sleep. If you can, avoid eating large meals for two to three hours before bedtime. Try a light snack 45 minutes before bed if you’re still hungry.

 

  1. Avoid liquids an hour before bed. Hydration is important, but so is sleep. Go to the bathroom right before bed to avoid waking up in the middle of the night.

Change doesn’t happen immediately. It takes commitment and repetition, but ultimately following these simple rules can help you sleep better.

If you’re still having trouble sleeping, don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor or to call one of our sleep medicine specialists here at Comprehensive Sleep Care Center. It could be a more serious sleep disorder like sleep apnea or chronic insomnia.

Sleep Problems and Female Infertility

Can Sleep Apnea Cause Female Infertility?

Sleep and infertility -Have you ever thought about how they relate to one another?

Sleep plays a vital role in all our lives, affecting our quality of life, health, and yes even fertility. Getting a good night’s sleep helps refresh and restore your brain and body and regulate important hormones. Including the fertility-related hormones. Women with sleep disorders may be more than three times as likely to experience infertility as their counterparts who don’t have trouble sleeping.

A recent study showed that Obstructive Sleep Apnea is more commonly seen in infertile women and increases the odds that a woman will be infertile.

Lack of Sleep Can Affect Fertility-Related Hormones

There’s a long list of “lifestyle” factors that we know can affect the fertility of both women and men. From weight issues, smoking, and stress, but you can add poor quality sleep to that list.

According to the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), lack of sleep, (6 or less hours a night)- which more than one third of Americans experience, can affect the hormones related to fertility. The part of the brain that regulates “sleep-wake hormones” in both men and women is also responsible for triggering the daily release of hormones that affect ovulation in women and sperm maturation in men.

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s study, women with low quality sleep had lower rates of fertility than those getting adequate rest.

The importance of sleep is not only tied to the number of hours, but also to the quality of sleep: waking up frequently during the night disrupts the normal sleep cycle, which includes a deep sleep stage during which the body restores itself. Consistent poor-quality sleep can contribute to:

  • High blood pressure
  • Weight gain
  • Hormone imbalance

all of which can lead to fertility problems.

What Else Connects Sleep and Fertility?

Long-term lack of sleep can disrupt more than your hormonal balance. It can affect your fertility in indirect was too.

  • Mood changes. Over time, this could disrupt your relationship with your spouse or sexual partner.
  • Increasing your health conditions that can affect your fertility. These include diabetes, cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels) disease and obesity.

Studies show that Obstructive Sleep Apnea is more commonly seen in infertile women and increases the odds that a woman will be infertile. More studies need to be done and we still have a lot to learn about how exactly sleep disorders may affect infertility. Even so, the results suggest that women can add infertility to the long list of health reasons to get help when they can’t fall or stay asleep.

If you’d like to have your sleep patterns assessed by a professional, or if you want to learn more about getting adequate sleep, please contact Comprehensive Sleep Care Center.

Sleep can help beat the Coronavirus

Sleep Can Help Beat The Coronavirus

A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP CAN HELP YOU FIGHT VIRUSES

Sleep is always important, but right now it plays an integral role in our immune system. Eating right, exercising, and quality sleep all increase the body’s immune system. Quality sleep can also affect how fast a person recovers if they do get sick. Whereas lack of sleep can weaken the immune system, making people more vulnerable. Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as the common cold, or Coronavirus.

In these times of crisis and stress, our basic needs sometimes go out the window. People are struggling with the myriad of changes in their daily lives due to COVID-19.  From healthcare workers working extra-long and stressful hours. Parents at home with children, struggling to keep them busy. Or those locked down at home binge watching shows or Doomscrolling day and night.

These stresses can significantly impact the quality and duration of our sleep. Lack of sleep, whether from added stress or a significant change in your daily schedule, can have a severe impact on our physical and mental health at a time when we need to be our strongest. A sleep-deprived immune system just doesn’t work as well. Long-term lack of sleep also increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and cardiovascular disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 35.2% of adults in the United States are getting less than 7 hours of sleep each night. The optimal amount of sleep for most adults is seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night. Teenagers need nine to 10 hours of sleep. School-aged children may need 10 or more hours of sleep.

It can be easy to lose sight of how changes in our daily habits influence our ability to sleep well. The concept of sleep hygiene focuses on how to use your habits and routines to your advantage when it comes to sleep. It also includes optimizing your sleep environment so that you can relax and rest easy when you turn in for the night.

Here are some tips for getting a better night’s sleep:

  1. Stick to a sleep schedule – same bed/wake time, even on the weekends
  2. Dim the lights 2-3 hours before bedtime to stimulate the release of melatonin
  3. Power off all electronic devices 60 minutes prior to bedtime
  4. Create a relaxing pre-bedtime routine
  5. Watch nighttime fluid intake – drink enough fluids, but not so close to bedtime
  6. Avoid naps especially in late afternoon
  7. Exercise daily- but if possible, not within 2-3 hours of bedtime
  8. Get plenty of sunshine
  9. Create a comfortable sleep environment
  10. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals in the evening
  11. If you can’t sleep, get out of bed and do something relaxing until you feel tired
  12. Keep a sleep diary to help evaluate common patterns.

 

Stress and sleep are closely linked. We hope that these trying times soon will pass. But if your sleep issues continue, contact one of our Sleep Medicine Professionals. Stay safe out there.

SLEEP ISSUES AND CORONAVIRUS

SLEEP ISSUES AND CORONAVIRUS

As we try to navigate the day to day complexities of the Coronavirus pandemic and our new normal, it’s only natural to worry and this can cause you to have sleep issues.  Many are experiencing uncertainty and a loss of control. People are afraid for themselves, their loved ones and their jobs. Coronavirus and sleep issues seem to be working together to cause even more problems.

The Coronavirus pandemic has created so much uncertainty in our lives, it’s leading to many disruptions and is taking a toll on our sleep. Good, quality sleep is essential.  It is a key to wellness, both physical and mental, helping to beat back stress, depression, and anxiety.

Most adults need 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. But millions of people suffered from insomnia before the coronavirus, and unfortunately, the pandemic creates a host of new challenges even for people who previously had no sleeping problems.

Whether you’ve had sleeping problems before COVID-19, or if they’ve only come on recently, there are many steps that you can take to help improve your sleep quality during this global pandemic.

Improve Your Sleep Issues:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule, roughly the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends. This helps to regulate your body’s clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night. This is also important for kids during the pandemic upheaval.
  • Turn off technology before bedtime including the television, tablets, smartphones and other devices. The blue light that is emitted can delay the release of melatonin in the body, increase alertness and can even reset the body’s internal clock to a later schedule, disrupting the natural circadian rhythm. In addition the constant stream of bad news can make falling asleep difficult.
  • Exercise daily. Regular physical activity can greatly improve the quality and duration of your sleep. It can also help control your stress and anxiety. However, exercising immediately before bed can stimulate your body, so be sure to finish your workout several hours before bed.
  • If you can’t sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired. It is best to take work materials, computers and televisions out of the sleeping environment. Use your bed only for sleep to strengthen the association between bed and sleep. If you associate a particular activity or item with anxiety about sleeping, omit it from your bedtime routine
  • Try a calming app. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed or anxious, try utilizing a relaxation app during the day to help with any anxiety, fear or apprehension. Don’t be afraid to incorporate some relaxation techniques into your bedtime ritual.
  • Avoid or limit naps. Frequent napping can affect the quality of nighttime sleep. However, if you do enjoy a nap make sure it’s no longer than 30 minutes.
  • Regulate temperatures. Make sure the temperature in your bedroom or home isn’t too hot. It’s been suggested that the optimal bedroom temperature should be between 66-69 degrees Fahrenheit for ideal sleeping conditions.
  • Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses. Have comfortable pillows and make the room attractive and inviting for sleep but also free of allergens that might affect you. Also, remove any objects that might cause you to slip or fall if you have to get up during the night.
  • No food or drink right before bed. It’s best to avoid alcohol and stimulants like caffeine or nicotine. The effects of these items could last for hours and cause difficulty initiating sleep or even cause frequent awakenings. Also, try not to eat large meals or spicy food before retiring for the night. These could activate your digestive system, causing reflux or heartburn and keep you awake.

Look For the Good News

Despite all the bad news that you may come across, try to find some positive stories, such as how people are supporting one another through the pandemic. You can use technology to stay in touch with friends and family so that you can maintain social connections despite the need for social distancing.

Contact Your Doctor if Necessary

If you’re still having trouble sleeping, don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor or to call one of our sleep medicine specialists here at Comprehensive Sleep Care Center. It could be a more serious sleep disorder like sleep apnea or chronic insomnia. Our doctors are available for virtual telehealth visits as well as in-person appointments.

INSOMNIA -Why Can’t I Sleep?

INSOMNIA-Why can’t I sleep?

Insomnia is a problem for many during normal times, but factor in a pandemic and global unrest and it has become much more widespread. Insomnia is a sleep disorder where a person has trouble falling asleep, staying asleep and/or they wake up too early in the morning. Insomnia can drain your energy level and mood, but also negatively impact your health, work performance and quality of life. How much sleep you need varies from person to person, but most adults need seven to eight hours a night.

Insomnia is characterized based on its duration. Acute Insomnia typically lasts short-term while Chronic Insomnia can last a long time.

Acute Insomnia

Lasts from one night to a few weeks and can come and go. It often happens due to life’s circumstances (Coronosomnia) or when you can’t fall asleep the night before an exam or after receiving stressful or bad news. Many people experience short term insomnia and it tends to resolve without any major treatment.

Chronic Insomnia

Happens at least 3 nights a week for 3 months or more. It can have many causes. Changes in the environment, unhealthy sleep habits, shift work, certain medications and medical disorders can lead to a long-term pattern of sleep deprivation.

Insomnia Symptoms may Include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep at night
  • Waking up during the night
  • Waking up too early
  • Not feeling well-rested after a night’s sleep
  • Daytime tiredness or sleepiness
  • Irritability, depression or anxiety
  • Difficulty paying attention, focusing on tasks or remembering
  • Increased errors or accidents
  • Ongoing worries about sleep

Common Causes of Insomnia Include:

  • Stress-Concerns about work, school, health, finances or family can keep your mind active at night, making it difficult to sleep. Stressful life events or trauma also may lead to insomnia.
  • Travel or work schedule-Your circadian rhythms act as an internal clock, guiding such things as your sleep-wake cycle, metabolism and body temperature. Disrupting your body’s circadian rhythms can lead to insomnia. Causes include jet lag, working a late or early shift, or frequently changing shifts.
  • Poor sleep habits-Poor sleep habits include an irregular bedtime schedule, naps, stimulating activities before bed, an uncomfortable sleep environment, and using your bed for work, eating or watching TV. Computers, TVs, video games, smartphones or other screens just before bed can interfere with your sleep cycle.
  • Eating too much late in the evening-Having a light snack before bedtime is OK, but eating too much may cause you to feel physically uncomfortable. Many people also experience heartburn which may keep you awake.
  • Mental health issuesAnxiety disorders may disrupt your sleep. Insomnia often occurs with other mental health disorders as well.
  • Medications-Many prescription drugs can interfere with sleep, such as certain antidepressants and medications for asthma or blood pressure. Many over-the-counter medications such as some allergy and cold medications, and weight-loss products can contain caffeine and other stimulants that can disrupt sleep.
  • Medical conditions- Examples of conditions linked with insomnia include chronic pain, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), overactive thyroid, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Sleep-related disordersSleep apnea causes you to stop breathing periodically throughout the night, interrupting your sleep. Restless legs syndrome causes unpleasant sensations in your legs and an almost irresistible desire to move them, which may prevent you from falling asleep.
  • Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol- Coffee, tea, cola and other caffeinated drinks are stimulants. Drinking them in the late afternoon or evening can keep you from falling asleep at night. Nicotine in tobacco products is another stimulant that can interfere with sleep. Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but it prevents deeper stages of sleep and often causes awakening in the middle of the night.
  • Changes in sleep patterns- With age, your internal clock often advances, so you get tired earlier in the evening and wake up earlier in the morning. But older people generally still need the same amount of sleep as younger people do.
  • Changes in health- Chronic pain from conditions such as arthritis or back problems, can interfere with sleep. Issues that increase the need to urinate during the night, such as prostate or bladder problems, can disrupt sleep. Sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome become more common with age.

 If you are experiencing insomnia symptoms you should speak to your doctor or call Comprehensive Sleep Care Center at 703-214-0318 to see one of our sleep medicine specialists. We are now offering TeleMedicine visits to new and returning patients. Comprehensive Sleep Care Center offers expert diagnosis, treatment, and care for sleep disorders with the goal of providing a better night’s sleep and a better day ahead.