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Could Snoring Help Burn Calories?

Posted May 04 2011 2:10pm

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, snoring may actually have a positive effect on a person’s well being.  Studies show that people who snore burn more calories than their less noisy counterparts. Obesity is a major factor in the development of respiratory disturbances in sleep patterns. It is not clear whether weight gains interferes with breathing , or rather changes in breathing adversely affect the metabolism, resulting in increments of weight and complicating the treatment of these frequently co-occurring conditions.

At the University of California in San Francisco, Dr. Eric J. Kezirian and his team studied 212 adults with symptoms of respiratory disorders associated with sleep. Participants underwent physical examinations, their medical history was taken into account and their sleep was monitored using a polysomnograph. The participants resting energy expenditure (REE) was also tracked using a device called an indirect calorimeter; the calorimeter measures oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production, which can be used to determine resting energy expenditure in calories per day.

It was calculated that among the participants, the average REE is 1766 calories per day. In people with more severe breathing disorders who ranked higher on the scale of sleep apnea or shallow breathing burned 1999 calories, while people without such problems averaged 1626 calories.

Although this may be some what good news, snoring is still an unhealthy habit. Habitual snorers can be at risk for serious health problems associated with heart dieses and diabetes.

An estimated 30 million Americans snore. Figures show that smokers are almost twice as much likely as non-smokers to snore because their airways get inflamed and blocked. Other factors which can make snoring worse include being overweight, drinking alcohol, consuming sleeping pills and sleeping on your back. Research also shows that people who sleep with pets such as dogs tend to have a higher risk of snoring.

Try following behavior changes to help treat the problem:

-          Lose weight

-          Avoid drinking alcohol before bed,

-          Establish regular sleeping patterns,

-          Sleep on your side rather than on your back – if it’s hard for you to adjust, try the “tennis ball trick” (attach a tennis or similar sized ball to the back of your pajama top)

-          Keep your bedroom air moist

-          Quit smoking

-          Elevate the head of your bed up four inches to ease breathing

If you know any remedies or have suggestions on how to help ease snoring , please share in the comments below


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