Sleep issues can spur other problems, expert tells Tulsa audience
BY SHANNON MUCHMORE World Staff Writer
Saturday, October 27, 2012
10/27/12 at 3:01 AM
Insufficient sleep can lead to weight gain, decreased memory and concentration, impaired attention and reaction time, as well as depression and other consequences, a sleep expert says.
Orfeu Buxton, assistant professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School and an associate neuroscientist in the Division of Sleep Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, spoke Friday at a seminar at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa.
The optimal amount of sleep for most people is seven to eight hours a night. Getting more or less sleep is associated with a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, he said.
Diet is strongly affected by short sleep, Buxton said.
Sleep restriction is associated with increased hunger, and the foods people crave tend to be more sugary, unhealthy snacks, he said.
"These people are not craving salad with no dressing," Buxton said.
The amount of sleep a person gets can be affected by multiple factors.
One study found that people sacrificed sleep to spend more time at work and with their family, Buxton said.
"If there's tremendous stress at work or at home, sleep is probably going to be affected," he said.
Parents can't start too early to teach children good sleep habits, he said.
Buxton recommends keeping cellphones out of the bedroom at night.
Other ways to ensure a good night's sleep include exercising regularly; going to bed only when you think you can fall asleep; sleeping in a cool, dark, quiet place; and waking up about the same time every day, even on weekends, he said.
Original Print Headline: Expert: Sleep issues can lead to weight gain
Shannon Muchmore 918-581-8378