Sleep Problems? Check Your Diet

Thursday, September 13th, 2012, 7:13 pm

We all know that a glass of warm milk at bedtime can help you sleep better but did you know the wrong things in your diet can ruin your sleep?

Researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Minneapolis VA found that eating a diet with lots of high fat foods can diminish the quality of your sleep (and make you gain weight). Of course, being overweight also increases your risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea which is a serious sleep breathing disorder in which people actually pause their breathing during sleep.

The Minnesota study fed rats a special fatty-food diet for 8 weeks and then watched their sleep patterns. They found that the rats who ate the high fat diet slept more than rats who ate healthier and, most of this additional sleep was during the daytime. The fatty rats also showed more fragmented sleep, meaning they didn’t get the deep, restful sleep needed to maintain health.

When humans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea they also experience fragmented sleep. During sleep the soft tissues of the mouth and throat relax and drop into the throat, blocking the windpipe and stopping breathing. As the body becomes deprived of oxygen the sleeper briefly wakens with a gasp and begins breathing again. These stoppages of breath may occur many times each hour throughout the night. The sleeper wakens the next morning feeling exhausted and because of the stress on their body their risk of heart attack, stroke and early death is greatly increased.

Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439 to schedule an appointment to find out how oral appliance therapy can keep you breathing all night long. No more snoring and no more gasping for air during sleep.

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Category: Dental Sleep Medicine

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