How Common Sleep Problems Like Snoring Can Lead to Metabolic Syndrome

December 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Health

Metabolic syndrome is a medical diagnosis that refers to the presence of at least three of the five primary risk factors that are associated with diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The five factors include high triglycerides, high blood sugar, excess abdominal fat, high blood pressure, and low HDL cholesterol. And it is not just snoring that is the problem, if you have trouble falling asleep or have restless sleep then according to a new study you are more likely to develop the symptoms of metabolic syndrome as well.

This is the first study to explore the link between sleep quality and metabolic syndrome risk and was done on a total of 812 individuals who were between the ages of 45 and 74, and who developed metabolic syndrome during a three year period of analysis. This particular age bracket was chosen because many people who fall under this category record the highest complaints of sleep disorders. The results of the study revealed that 70 percent of people who do not sleep well and 80 percent of those who have trouble falling asleep are twice as likely to develop symptoms of metabolic syndrome than those who do not experience sleeping difficulties.

Loud snoring is disruptive on many levels, but it seems that it also is associated with low levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and high blood sugar levels, both of which are can lead to the development of diabetes. If you or a partner have put up with snoring, then this might be the piece of information that could get them to address the problem. Everyone has trouble sleeping from time to time, but if you find you are unable to do so easily over a prolonged period then that also is a significant predictor of metabolic syndrome.

If I had a cure for snoring I would be a rich woman, but there are some simple changes that can often help. Being overweight is certainly a factor so looking at dietary and lifestyle changes can be a place to start. Stress is another factor so do what you can to eliminate or reduce it – and if you need help then can I suggest you look at my website for How To Cope Successfully With Stress and apply the many tips there.

I also recently came across an excellent herbal tea from the American company Celestial Seasons which has a combination of their great tasting Sleepytime tea to help you drop off, together with additional herbs for soothing sore throats.

It might just help if you have a cup of that before going to bed to both relax you and calm those inflamed airways that occur with snoring.

Sour cherries have a sweet effect


One fruit I particularly love are dark, sweet cherries, but for maximum health effect it is the tart, sour, cherries that bring most benefit. Available as juice or powder, not suitable for eating raw, they have powerful antioxidant qualities but a new benefit has just been announced by researchers from the University of Michigan.

They have found that regularly including tart cherries in the diet can reduce the symptoms of metabolic syndrome and the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of symptoms including high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high fasting blood sugar, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol and obesity (particularly around the stomach). The study found that cholesterol levels and stomach fat were both reduced in the trial and, more importantly perhaps, that the cherries were found to reduce inflammation at a systemic level. Our body’s natural response to injury is inflammation as it seeks to heal the affected part, but as I mentioned in last week’s Health News, chronic inflammation has been linked to increased risk for many diseases including depression.

If you are interested in finding out more, or for the name of your local stockist or ordering online, then a good website is or call them on 08451 705 705

Tape Measure Predictor

February 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Childrens Health, Medical Research & Studies

Identifying children most likely to have an early form of metabolic syndrome needs only a scale and a tape measure, researchers at the University of Verona in Italy have recently discovered during a long study of just under 1500 Italian children. Metabolic syndrome is the term they used to describe the combination of excess weight, hypertension, and high cholesterol and plasma glucose found in children and adolescents.

We know that childhood obesity is a growing problem, but if parents were to monitor the waist-to-height ratio of those aged 5-15 they could help prevent their child developing serious conditions later in life that are linked to obesity such as cardiovascular disease and risk of diabetes.

The significant figure is when a child has a waist-to-height ratio greater than 0.5 and may seem overweight, but not obese so that warning signals are not raised in time. Such children were found to have a 95% chance of meeting the criteria for metabolic syndrome. As with adults, having a high waist measurement is a red flag, although of course there are more high-tech tools available to assess the risk in such children.

The chief researcher, Dr. Maffeis, says that waist-to-height ratio is easier for parents to monitor and interpret before the stage of intervention may be required.