Excessive Sleepiness Tied to Obesity and Depression

Bon_Secours_Sleep_Centers_Sleep_Disorders_Treatment_Sleep_ApneaFeeling sleepy all day long?

You may be depressed or struggling with weight issues, too.

Three new studies have found that people who battle excessive sleepiness during the day often suffer from depression and obesity.

Indeed, after studying the sleep habits and health records of a random population sample of 1,741 adults, researchers from Penn State found that “obesity and emotional stress are the main causes of the current epidemic of sleepiness and fatigue plaguing the country,” according to a press release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

“The ‘epidemic’ of sleepiness parallels an ‘epidemic’ of obesity and psychosocial stress,” said Dr. Alexandros Vgontzas, the principal investigator for the three studies. The findings were recently presented at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Boston.

“Weight loss, depression and sleep disorders should be our priorities in terms of preventing the medical complications and public safety hazards associated with excessive sleepiness,” Vgontzas said in the news release.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should sleep from seven to nine hours every night.

Not getting enough sleep and obstructive sleep apnea have been linked to many health problems including: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes, obesity and accidents.

One of the studies discussed at the annual meeting showed that gaining weight was the strongest predictor as to whether people continued to struggle with excessive sleepiness years later.

“In fact, our results showed that in individuals who lost weight, excessive sleepiness improved,” Vgontzas.

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