Childhood Sleep Problems Can Lead to Lifelong Weight Problems

A recent study examined the relationship between childhood sleep and sleep breathing difficulties and subsequent weight issues through adolescence and adulthood and found both sleep problems to be “predictive of overweight” later on.

The study focused on children from birth through 6.75 years of age and their sleep patterns, specifically if they showed evidence of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) and short sleep patterns. It followed up by measuring the subjects’ body mass index (BMI) at 7, 10 and 15 years of age.

The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children concluded: “Both SDB and short sleep duration significantly and independently increase children’s odds of becoming overweight. Findings underscore the potential importance of early identification and remediation of SDB, along with insufficient sleep, as strategies for reducing childhood obesity.”

While this is of great interest to all of us who are parents — who now know that we must help our children if they have sleep difficulties — it is also of great significance to us adults who are overweight and perhaps still experiencing sleep problems. Our patterns perhaps, or even most likely, developed when we were young.

So is there a way to turn back the clock on our bodies and our sleep difficulties?

Absolutely, adult sleep difficulties can be treated and ameliorated, if not corrected entirely. Modern medicine has many treatments for sleep problems, most of them noninvasive and capable of being performed during a brief office visit with localized anesthetics.

Many of our sleep difficulties stem from nasal and soft palate tissue problems, which cause breathing and snoring problems that lead to sleep deprivation. Remedies such as the Pillar Procedure and Turbinate Coblation, among others, can help with these issues.

Bottom line is that you don’t have to suffer from sleep — and weight — problems all your life. Help is at hand, but you must take the first step by reaching out for professional help. Don’t hesitate but call for an appointment today with a sleep professional if your sleep is causing you daytime fatigue and/or weight problems.

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