Can an Unhealthy Diet be Affecting Your Sleep?
Doughnuts, ice cream sundaes, and double bacon cheeseburgers with onion rings on the side are some of your favorite things to eat. Yes, you know it has helped contribute to the extra pounds around your middle but you still try to combat by taking your dog for a walk every night for 30 minutes. But as of late, you have been waking up extremely fatigued in the morning and on occasion even gasping for air in the middle of the night. You start to wonder whether or not your unhealthy diet and the extra pounds could be affecting your sleep. The answer is yes. In fact, you might very well have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
OSA is a disorder in which a person’s airway is blocked and thus prevents proper breathing from occurring while he or she sleeps. When the scale starts moving up toward an unhealthy weight due to poor diet, the pounds can accumulate in more areas than just the stomach or abdomen. Fat can appear around the neck and throat and in turn the upper airway can be negatively impacted. Left untreated, OSA can increase the risk for life-threatening conditions such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Current statistics indicate that close to 80% of those with OSA are living their lives not knowing that they have the disease.
In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, researchers discovered a correlation between individuals with severe sleep apnea and an unhealthy diet composed mostly of saturated fat and high cholesterol foods. Although men are more frequently diagnosed with OSA, in this study, the connection between diet and severe sleep apnea was more significant in women.
At any rate, it is always important to watch what you eat no matter what the diagnosis.
- Saturated fat
- High cholesterol-laden food
- Processed snacks
- Items with additives and preservatives
Instead reach for:
- Whole grains
- Green-leaf vegetables
- Olive or grapeseed oil for cooking
The first step in getting back on track in terms of your sleep and health would be to get a proper diagnosis and learn the severity of your OSA if this is the case. But of course, it can never be a wrong choice to eat healthy.
If you would like to find out more about getting a good night of sleep or believe that you might have a more serious health issue like sleep apnea, please contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 or schedule a free consultation.