Can Race Affect Sleep?
October 11, 2012
Here’s a comment I made on a Huffington Post blog about how race can affect your sleep:
“Thanks for an interesting post. People of African descent are known to have a short anterior cranial base (along with Asians), which is the distance from the pituitary gland to the bridge of the nose. This predisposes to sleep-breathing problems, namely obstructive sleep apnea. It’s been shown that Caribbeans had the highest rate of sleep apnea in one study. In another study in Asians, the risk of obstructive sleep apnea was significant higher with increasing BMI, compared to Caucasians.
Obstructed breathing (whether or not it’s long enough to be an apnea) leads to interrupted sleep. This process is worse in the latter half of the night, when you enter longer periods of REM sleep. This is why many people wake up at regular times or intervals.
Modern diets and infant feeding habits have significantly shrunken our facial structures, predisposing to one’s risk of sleep-breathing problems. This problem is essentially ignored by conventional allopathic medicine, which prefers to focus on genetic or biochemical answers to chronic disease.
If you are tired no matter how long you sleep, have had braces, have dental crowding, underwent excessive dental extractions, can’t sleep on your back, have a narrow triangular face, or have parents that snore heavily, it’s likely you have problems breathing at night. Poor sleep due to these multiple interruptions can lead to weight gain, since poor sleep is known to affect your hormones and appetite to make you hungry and crave sugary or fatty foods. Weight gain then narrows an already narrowed throat, leading to more obstructions.”