Sleep Apnea and Weight – What You Should Know

Most statistics suggest that an approximate 50 to 70 million US people suffer from sleep apnea. In a global perspective, around 100 million people are experiencing this sleeping disorder.


Sleep apnea is a condition associated with a blockage of the airway passage which may eventually cause shortness of breath, choking, or snoring. It comprises three main types namely obstructive, central, and complex. (or mixed) Most of these types have a common cause and effect but differs in terms of their duration. This condition lasts for about 15 seconds to 1 minute. It can also happen multiple times during sleep.


What’s more intriguing with the apnea? Studies show that weight has a relative effect with this sleeping disorder. Haven’t you notice why most overweight and obese people usually experience snoring or choking during sleep? Well, let’s test our curiosity and figure out the fact behind this theory.


Relationship between Sleep Apnea and Weight


When did you last check your BMI? If you think you’re already overweight or obese, it’s time for you to understand its effect on your sleep. An excessive weight gain can be traced through the food, poor diet, and no exercise.


Fats can easily accumulate in your body and increases your weight. These substances may cause different illnesses or diseases especially if you did not follow a strict diet. Did you know that gym enthusiasts often tell their clients to focus on the food diet? Generally, the effect of the diet comprises 70% while only 30% relates to physical exercise to lose weight.


What is the connection of your weight to sleep? When the fatty acids accumulate around your throat area, these substances block the air passageway. A reason why you often experience snoring or choking during sleep. Your body is not in its normal state which makes it difficult for the internal organs to respond properly. Also, the more you gain weight means the higher the chances that it will develop into an obstructive apnea.


How does sleep apnea affect overall health?


Sleep apnea may have several serious impacts on your overall health if not treated immediately. A prolong suffering from this condition may arise to liver problems, cardiovascular-related diseases, diabetes, and over fatigue.


It also affects the hormonal balance leading to excessive or lesser production of the ghrelin and leptin. These hormones are responsible for regulating the insulin in the body. Whereas insulin is the responsible substance for regulating the glucose of the body.


Furthermore, apnea can disrupt an individual’s mental state. It slows down logical thinking, makes you easily forget, and become vulnerable to stress. Imagine if these conditions occur, it will make you suffer.


What are the treatments for this sleeping disorder?


Treating sleep apnea may fall on surgical and non-surgical procedures. Some patients can rely solely on therapy sessions while other patients need to undergo an operation. Well, it varies depending on the degree and intensity of the sleeping disorder to a person.


Continuous positive airway pressure is the most popular treatment of all time. It is a device used that helps the patient to have a night of quality sleep. Generally, it comprises a mask attached to a patient’s nose, mouth, and head to have proper ventilation during sleep. For starters, this machine may not be an Easy CPAP to use for the first time. However, you may eventually get used to it if you use it frequently.


Some of the treatments aside from the CPAP involves the following:

  • Automatic positive airway pressure
  • Bilevel positive airway pressure
  • Adenotonsillectomy
  • Maxillomandibular Advancement
  • Mandibular Advancement
  • Tongue Retaining Mouthpiece
  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty
  • Lateral pharyngoplasty
  • Nasal Surgery


What are the preventive measurements to avoid having sleep apnea?


The treatment for sleep apnea cannot be done overnight. It requires consistent treatment and a change of your lifestyle to remedy it. The diet and exercise tandem always go hand in hand to prevent the occurrence of this condition.


Stress management is also an important principle to consider since it is directly linked to moods, emotions, mental state, and physical state. If you know how to deal with stress, you will less likely experience sleeping disorders.


Doing yoga, relaxation activities, and breathing techniques may also help your blood circulate properly. You may also consider these remedies to help you prepare for a big change to prevent suffering from sleeping disorders.


Of course, a well-planned diet and water intake are also an important part of your lifestyle change. Having a healthy body will prevent the occurrence of experiencing stress and illnesses.


The Verdict


In this article, you learned the relationship between weight and sleep apnea. Having this condition may be tough at first but you can still remedy it. We also listed down all the possible treatments and preventive measures on how to cure this sleeping disorder.


If you want to schedule a doctor’s appointment, look for a specialist in the fields of pulmonology, neurology, psychiatry, or psychology. These professionals can guide you and help you treat your sleep apnea.


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