Sleep Apnea & Weight
Sleep Apnea & Obesity: A Vicious Cycle
Being overweight is a challenging aspect of life that can bring about various health complications, and unfortunately, for those who suffer from sleep apnea, weight loss can be an even more challenging hurdle to overcome. Sleep apnea and obesity are closely linked, and the impact of one on the other can be significant.
This draining cycle of symptoms can make it hard to escape your sleep apnea without professional treatment. In addition to supporting a lifestyle designed to keep excess weight at bay, at the Center for Dental Sleep Health, Dr. Stephen Ura provides treatment for sleep apnea. Discover how sleep apnea and weight are closely connected with each other.
The Battle of Sleep Apnea & Obesity
Obesity is a key risk factor for sleep apnea, as it can significantly impact the quality of sleep and cause interruptions in breathing throughout the night.
Furthermore, patients who struggle with weight problems have a higher chance of developing other health issues associated with sleep apnea, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. Addressing these issues is crucial as they can lead to serious health consequences.
Sleep apnea and the use of a CPAP mask have also been found to contribute to weight gain. Research suggests there’s an average increase in body mass index among CPAP users, which can be attributed to the lack of sleep and low energy caused by sleep apnea. To combat this, it’s important to prioritize weight loss and a healthy lifestyle.
Committing to Weight Loss
Losing weight can help reduce the severity of sleep apnea and improve overall health. While weight loss may seem daunting, committing to a healthy lifestyle can make it easier. It takes patience, dedication, and time to reach your goals, and it’s always important to never give up if you’re not seeing results right away.
For patients who are obese, we always recommend that they alter different parts of their lifestyle and find ways to lose weight and live healthier lives. Studies found a vast improvement in sleep apnea symptoms over time when people committed to living a more active life and followed a balanced diet.
Fun & Easy Weight Loss Exercises
Exercise is essential for weight loss and managing sleep apnea symptoms. A consistent exercise habit is a great way to help you regain your confidence, lose weight, give you the energy to improve, and can even help you sleep better.
Luckily, there are plenty of enjoyable workouts that don’t always require being at the gym. If you want to commit to exercising every day, try out one of these simple workouts:
- Jog on the beach
- Practice with a personal trainer
- Play your favorite sport
- Go on a hike
You can also try low-impact exercises like swimming, cycling, or walking, which are less stressful on the joints. Yoga and pilates are also great options that can help with breathing and relaxation.
Sticking to a Balanced Diet
To improve the symptoms of sleep apnea, weight loss isn’t just about working out but also about eating nutritious foods. One study found that a simple diet like the Mediterranean diet can be effective in improving sleep apnea. A combination of lifestyle changes and weight loss can help alleviate snoring and sleep apnea.
The Mediterranean diet includes a balance of meats, dairy, fish, fruits, oils, vegetables, and grains. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and foods high in saturated fats. By finding a suitable diet to follow and consistently working out, you can see an improvement in your weight.
It’s important to listen to your body and not force yourself to eat foods that you dislike, as this can lead to failure to stick with the diet plan. By following a diet plan that suits your taste and lifestyle, you can achieve the desired results you’ve been longing for.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can weight loss cure sleep apnea?
While weight loss can greatly improve your sleep apnea symptoms, most cases aren’t permanently curable. However, losing weight has been shown to reduce symptoms for patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
OSA causes patients to stop breathing during sleep due to an obstructed airway. In some cases, the weight of your neck narrows and blocks the airway. As a result, losing weight can help clear your airway and significantly improve your symptoms.
Can people who aren’t overweight suffer from sleep apnea?
Yes. While being overweight is a common underlying cause of sleep apnea, patients of all sizes and ages can develop this sleep disorder. That’s why it’s important to take note of any sleep apnea symptoms you’re experiencing and undergo a sleep test if you think you may have a sleep disorder. Maintaining a healthy body weight won’t guarantee that you don’t develop sleep apnea, but it can help you manage your symptoms.
Can untreated sleep apnea affect exercise performance?
Yes, untreated sleep apnea can affect exercise performance, as it can cause fatigue and reduce energy levels. With sleep apnea treatment, you’ll notice improvements in exercise performance. If you want to exercise to lose excess weight from the neck, consult with your sleep dentist.
Visit Dr. Ura for Sleep Apnea Relief
Managing sleep apnea and weight is crucial for overall health. Speak to your sleep dentist for guidance and support if you suspect you have sleep apnea or are struggling with weight loss. To learn more about how sleep apnea is linked to weight, contact our Nashua, NH, office today at (603) 236-1124. Dr. Ura and our team proudly provide sleep apnea services to the Nashua community and surrounding areas such as Hudson, Merrimack, and Milford, NH.
You can also fill out our online contact form to book your appointment, and one of our team members will get back to you promptly.