The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that if nothing is done to reverse the nation's current obesity trends, 42% of Americans could be obese by 2030. Obesity is often associated with a disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). With OSA, patients snore and stop breathing. This results in patients awakening in order to breathe again. The repeated disruptions result in a form of sleep deprivation, by disrupting the continuity of sleep. Any disorder (OSA, RLS, PLMS, Insomnia, etc) that limits sleep or disrupts it continuity can result in a decrease in the level of Leptin, a hormone that acts to inhibit appetite.
In some patients, the Leptin level may be normal or even increased; however, the body becomes resistant to the action of Leptin. The result is in an increased appetite and a craving for the wrong kinds of foods; fatty and sugary foods. This combined with a general lack of energy due to a disorder leads to a decrease in exercise. The combination of increased calories and decreased exercise results in “the perfect storm” for the obesity epidemic we are seeing in America today.
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