Sleep, mood disturbance and obesity linked

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Obese people who sleep poorly are also likely to suffer from anxiety or depression and have lower quality of life.

A new study from University of Birmingham researchers has revealed the link between the three events.

Studying obese patients

Almost three-quarters of patients with an average BMI of 47 who were enrolled in a weight-management service were poor sleepers. More than half of these patients showed signs of anxiety, and almost half showed signs of depression. The study authors showed that sleep quality was significantly associated with an impact on mood and quality of life among these obese patients.

The authors recommend that doctors screen obese patients for sleep problems which include disrupted sleep and excessive daytime sleepiness. Improving sleep quality could potentially prevent obesity from worsening and prevent people from developing psychological conditions which impede quality of life.

Many doctors miss the signs

"Despite the very high levels of problems in these patients, those involved with their care usually do not ask about sleep problems and often pay little heed to the psychological issues underlying the obesity," said Dr. Neil Thomas, reader in epidemiology at the School of Health and Population Sciences at the University of Birmingham.

"The focus is often on treating the obesity and its consequences, such as diet and exercise interventions, rather than addressing its underlying cause, which may be psychological in nature, such as an unhappy marriage, job stresses, etc.," he added. "This may also in part contribute to the difficulty in maintaining weight loss if the drivers of the increasing body fat are not removed it is unlikely that long term weight loss will be successful."

Sources: MedicalNewsToday, Sleep

 
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