weight gain

Teen Texting Trouble

Being able to text a short message to someone is a blessing of the times. It works when you can't pick the phone up and call, when you are in an environment where speaking is not appropriate and in a lot of situations. Like any other useful technological feature, young people find uses for it to suit their life style. In my medical practice I started seeing teens who were texting 5 to 6000 times per month when texting plans had not even been invented by the phone companies. Now, those appear to have been ancient times. With unlimited texting plans, and parents losing control of their children's phone usage, texting continues to reach new highs. The Pew Research Center published a study earlier this year about increasing texting use in teens. Click here to read: Pew Research Center Study on Teens and Texting

One of my teen patients recently told me there were some very important people texting her at 2 in the morning and she HAD to respond. Come to find out it was her suspicious controlling boyfriend checking on her. One sleep problem solved.

Anecdotes aside, my concern as a sleep doctor is that the frequency of use and obsessive use, particularly during sleeping hours, interferes with a teen's ability to sleep restfully, keeping them on the edge, waiting for the phone to buzz, then alerting themselves to read and respond. Adrenaline levels, blood pressure, anxiety levels, moodiness, complaints of being tired all the time and many physical symptoms worsen with these habits, and are frequently overlooked. Often the adults in the household are not even aware of this behavior.

As I have written before, there is solid science supporting the observation that lack of sufficient good quality sleep leads to weight gain, behavior issues and accelerated aging; It triggers headaches, dizziness and even fainting besides making all kinds of existing physical problems worse.

I spoke to the local Sacramento radio channel KFBK today on this subject. Click here to listen: Teens and Texting on KFBK Radio 06-13-2012

Sleep, Weight Gain and Obesity

sehatu photos

Apple sold millions of iPads as soon as the new product came out. We buy the newest gadgets. We tend to see and hear what excites us, and gravitate towards it. What is often not as sexy and difficult to market but critical for human well being gets lost in the news.

We buy supplements to lose weight. We buy treadmills to exercise. I know many people who spent much to undergo major surgery to reduce weight or improve their bulky appearance. How many of us though have heard the terms Leptin and Ghrelin? Ask your doctor. The physician has probably not heard the terms either. The research is now over ten years old: Leptin and Ghrelin are two chemicals that control our weight, our appetite and the amount of fat produced by our body. The delicate balance between them is held in check by one critical function of our body: Sleep.

Lack of sleep, either in duration or quality upsets this balance, increasing stress on the body, increasing fat production and deposition, reducing satisfaction from what we eat and leading to weight gain and obesity.

Inability to fall asleep, stay asleep, wake up too early, snoring and trouble breathing in sleep, all lead to this disaster.

One of many articles from the scientific literature is here for you to read.

Click here: The Link between Sleep and Obesity

Enjoy every moment, sleep well, live longer and healthier.