Weight and Alertness

How would you rate your own level of “alertness”? Do you find yourself sometimes getting very sleepy in the middle of the day? Does your spouse have to nudge you on the couch while watching a show at 9 o’clock at night because you have fallen asleep in the recliner? How often do you find yourself yawning excessively during the waking hours?

The most obvious reason for the connection of weight control issues to alertness is the much higher potential for obstructive sleep apnea (“OSA”) in people with obesity. The disrupted sleep patterns that OSA causes leads to daytime somnolence and lower levels of alertness.

However, there are other mechanisms, aside from OSA, that may result in low levels of alertness. Diets high in fat tend to make people feel more tired. Additionally, there are other neurochemical changes that occur in obese people that lead to lower levels of alertness.

Many of our patients notice much more heightened levels of alertness that accompanies their successful weight control journeys. The reasons may be multifactorial but there is no doubt that one of the “not so much talked about” positive aspects of weight control is feeling much more alert.

Author
Dr. Robert Posner One of the world’s leading medical weight loss researchers, Robert Posner, MD, operates his state-of-the-art weight loss clinic, Serotonin Plus, in the heart of Burke, Virginia, in the suburban Washington area.

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