Looking at research from the last 15 years show a definite consensus: partial sleep deprivation appears to have a significant impact on weight control.  Sleep deprivation was defined as less than 6 hours of sleep per night.  The CDC estimates that nearly one-third of adults is the USA sleep less that 6 hours per night.

Two hormones are critical to regulating hu nder and appetite: ghrelin and leptin.  Ghrelin in produced in the stomach and spurs appetite.  It may particularly increase appetite for high-calorie foods.  It may also direct fat towards the midsection of the body, where it is most dangerous to our health.  When sleep is lowered, the production of ghrelin increases.

Leptin is a hormone that suppresses appetite by communication to brain receptors.  Low sleep quantity or quality supresses leptin produciton, making us more likely to feel ongoing pangs of hunger.

When these two hormones are out of balance, sleep-deprived people are more likely to gain weight.  According to the CDC one third of adults in the US are obese, as are 17% of children.  This is projected to grow to 50% by 2030 endangering millions of lives and adding tens of billions of dollars to our nation’s health care costs.

Glendale dentist Dr. Donald Wilcox helps many patients from Scottsdale and Phoenix improve the quality of their sleep and health with dental devices that provide solutions for snoring and sleep apnea.  If you snore or have sleep apnea and cannot wear a CPAP, an oral appliance from DesertSmiles can dramatically improve the quality of your sleep and your bed partners.  Visit www.DesertSmiles.com for more information.  Call our Glendale dental office for a complimentary sleep breathing consultation.

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