Sleep disruptions can lead to weight gain, doctor says
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/04/2012 -- Children who frequently snore can develop health disorders, a study has found.
Research at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles concluded that snoring also can affect kids’ metabolism or signal an underlying problem with breathing, according to KNBC.
“When you have arousals from sleep it activates what we call the fight-or-flight reflex,” Dr. Sally Davidson Ward said, “and that turns on your sympathetic nervous system.”
Ward authored the study of snoring, and said it could lead toward added weight or diabetes because of the activity of sugar.
“Through that repetitive activation, we believe that impacts glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity,” Ward said.
The insulin hormone adds sugar to cells, giving the body fuel. Blood sugar can rise when cells are less sensitive to this process, leading to diabetes, Ward explained.
“Your sleep is disrupted; that may change your metabolism so you can become more obese,” she told KNBC. “It’s definitely a vicious cycle that needs interruption.”
Children who do not get enough sleep also can develop problems with learning and behavior.
A teenage girl who had snored since she was a baby said she and her mother thought nothing of it. When she was very young, Julia Del Rio’s snoring was charming, said her mother, Claudia Del Rio.
“Especially when she was a baby, I used to listen to her snore and I thought it was really cute,” she said.
Julia Del Rio, now 13, found that she has obstructive sleep apnea. During the night, her breathing stops because the airway is blocked. The Del Rios only found this out after undergoing tests at a sleep laboratory, and doctors say Julia’s tonsils need to be taken out.
Ward recommends that parents monitor the way children sleep and be aware of snoring.
“Especially if it’s loud, or more than three nights a week, they should discuss it with their pediatrician,” said Ward.
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