Eric J. Kezirian, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of California, San Francisco, and the author of the study, together with his colleagues evaluated the resting energy expenditure in people with sleep problems. The study involved 212 adults, who had sleep breathing disorders.
Sleep disorders include such conditions as snoring, sleep apnea and others that cause moderate to severe obstruction of airways during sleep.
Scientists monitored the participants' sleep patterns with the help of polysomnography. They also studied the medical history of their conditions and evaluated the resting expenditure with the help of indirect calorimeter. Resting energy expenditure is determined as the amount of calories burned when a person is resting, which constitutes a part of overall daily energy expenditure and affects body weight.
The results of the study showed that people with severe sleep-related breathing problems, had the highest resting energy expenditure of 1,999 calories. The average resting energy expenditure rate was 1,763 people with light sleep problems had lower rate of 1,626 calories.
Scientists explain that heavy snorers may burn more calories due to the fact that resting energy expenditure increases when sleep is disturbed. It is still unclear how sleep-related breathing problems affect weight, as the study focused only on the expenditure part. Further studies are needed to involve energy intake to determine its influence on body weight.
The study has been published in the Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, JAMA/Archives journals.