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Connection Between Sleep and Mood Problems in Obese Individuals

January 27, 2014

A recent U.K. and U.S. study found a link between sleep and mood problems in obese people, which revealed that physicians should focus more on underlying issues that may be more psychological in nature when treating obesity, rather than solely focusing on physiological factors such as weight loss through diet and exercise.

scale.weightlossA study in the Journal of Sleep looked at the sleep issues, quality of life and moods of 270 severely obese people, average age 43 and BMI 47. The study found that three quarters of the participants reported poor sleep, with an average of six hours and twenty minutes of sleep per night. Roughly half of the participants were anxious and 43% reported being depressed. Researchers deduced that there is an association between poor sleep quality and daytime sleepiness, low quality of life, and mood disturbances. Dr. G. Neil Thomas, a researcher of this study from the University of Birmingham, stated that in treating obese patients, doctors “usually don’t ask about sleep problems and often pay little heed to psychological issues underlying obesity… The focus is often on treating 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 or job stress.”

To access the article on Huffington Post click here.

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