Losing weight comes with a lot of health benefits, including reduced risk of heart diseases and strokes. And as per a recent study, overweight and obese people have a new incentive to lose weight as it could help with sleep apnea – a sleep-related disorder.
Sleep apnea is primarily a disorder that can make a person feel exhausted and worn out despite having a full night's sleep, due to broken sleep patterns. Symptoms include abrupt awakening in the middle of the night with shortness of breath, dry mouth, or irritability, loud snoring, morning headaches and so on.
A research by the Flinders University Adelaide's Institute for Sleep Health found that by making a few general changes in one's diet as a whole, one can not only shed a few pounds but simultaneously reduce the worse side of effects Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) has.
OSA is the type of sleep apnea where pauses in breathing, or periods of shallow breathing during sleep prevents air from entering the lungs, thereby causing disruption in sleep.
"Our project looked to address the vicious cycle of inadequate sleep and feeling too tired for exercise and improve eating habits that usually comes with chronic sleep apnoea," said respiratory and sleep physician Dr , who led last year's trial for the same, as Medical Xpress reported.
"Participants in our six-month study found the Flinders behavioural program in tandem with a balanced meal replacement product such as Impromy (developed by CSIRO) is effective for weight loss. In turn, we then monitored whether the weight loss helped to reduce the symptoms of participants' sleep apnoea," Yap added.
"We know from our clinical trials of Impromy that many people start seeing a positive reduction in their cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose quite early in the program," said CSIRO Research Dietitian Dr Jane Bowen. Bowen was a part of the scientific team that developed Impromy.
"The new findings from Flinders University further demonstrate the health benefits of weight loss," she added.
Health experts have stated in the past how a good night's sleep is impertinent in the process of losing weight, but findings of this study show that the two are really a co-dependent pair.
As for the dietary regulations that could aid both weight loss and sleep, there are certain 'healthy' food items that you could opt for to help your sleep.
Teas like chamomile and passionflower are known for their calming abilities. Almonds and walnuts are considered ideal for consumption before going to bed too, and are excellent sources of plant-based fats that keep one fit.
Even white rice and some fatty fish can help one sleep better. But if all fails, milk, bananas and oatmeal are your go-to options for positive effects on your sleeping patterns.