Sleep Apnea and Weight Gain – the Deadly Connection
Unless you’re severely underweight, most people don’t want to gain weight. They don’t feel comfortable in their skin or in their clothes. Certain activities are more difficult.
Aches and pains are more prevalent in overweight individuals, too. Besides being uncomfortable, though, weight gain can be detrimental to your health. In fact, too much weight gain can be downright deadly.
According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, nearly one-third of the earth’s population is considered overweight.
Being overweight or obese can lead to heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and has even been linked to certain types of cancers. One condition that is especially worrisome is sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea and weight gain can pose a problem because the more you weigh, the more likely you’re to get sleep apnea. You’re already at risk for heart disease, but having sleep apnea on top of that can make the risk go up exponentially. How are weight gain and sleep apnea are liked? And how can you tell if you have it?
Sleep Apnea and Weight Gain – What’s the Link?
The link between sleep apnea and weight gain is really just a vicious cycle. You gain weight, which can lead to all sorts of complications, including the risk of diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea.
In turn, sleep apnea gives you trouble with getting a good night’s sleep. A lack of deep sleep and the resulting sleep debt can mess with your brain’s hunger signals. You can actually get overwhelmingly hungry because you didn’t get a good night’s sleep.
So, you eat but you don’t exercise as much as you should because you’re so exhausted. Why? It’s because you didn’t get the deep sleep you need to have the energy to exercise. Therefore, you end up gaining more weight, which can consequently make your sleep apnea even worse. The more your weight goes up, the more at risk you are for dangerous and debilitating conditions. It’s a vicious cycle that can take away your health and even take your life.
Sleep Apnea and Weight Gain – Why Sleep Apnea Is So Dangerous
Sleep apnea is caused by an obstructed airway. When you weigh more than you should, you tend to have extra adipose tissue distributed throughout your body. Typically, most people gain weight all over their body, including the face, neck, chest, and upper abdomen.
The extra weight puts pressure on the muscles and tissues that are already relaxed when you fall into a deep sleep. These tissues can obstruct the airway even if someone isn’t overweight. However, people who are overweight have an increased risk of severe sleep apnea because they have added pressure pushing on those tissues, making the obstruction even worse.
Your sleep apnea symptoms can take a huge toll on your health, but they can also affect those around you. How so? For one thing, if you make snoring sounds (including loud, persistent snoring in addition to gasping and choking noises) all night long, your significant other is going to have a hard time sleeping. They could end up with sleep debt. Or, they could end up sleeping in another room. Either way, your condition is going to impact the health of your partner as well as your relationship with them.
You can also put those around you at risk if you drive. When you have sleep apnea, you don’t get adequate rest. You end up going through the day in a mental fog. Not only can that cause you to make mistakes at work (which your boss won’t be too happy about), it could result in a car accident.
Sleep Apnea and Weight Gain – Sleep apnea can cause:
• Heart disease and risk of heart attack
• High blood pressure
Why would you want to put yourself through any of these scenarios? The truth is that you don’t have to be at risk for those things if you find sleep solutions to treat your sleep apnea.
One of the best things you can do to reduce your sleep apnea symptoms is to start losing weight. This isn’t always easy, but with some adjustments to your diet and an exercise routine can make a huge difference.
You don’t even have to do anything overly strenuous. Just a daily 30 minute walk will help you shed the pounds.
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, make sure to follow your doctor’s advice and get a CPAP or BiPAP machine. A BiPAP machine is great for people who have difficulty breathing as it makes it easier for them to exhale through the pressurized air coming in through the mask.
For other people, CPAP masks are preferred. They’ve been working well for millions of sleep apnea patients over the years. And the designs change periodically as developers try to make masks that are smaller and more comfortable.
With the right sleep apnea machine and some efforts in the weight loss department, you’ll soon notice you’re able to fall into deep sleep each night. It will take some effort, but paying of your sleep debt and reducing your snoring sounds and risk of disease is well worth it.
If You Suspect Sleep Apnea, Call Your Doctor Right Away
Sleep apnea goes way beyond making some snoring sounds every night. It’s a serious medical condition that can lead to other chronic diseases and even death.
If you or your partner suspects that you could have sleep apnea, contact your doctor right away. You need to have a sleep study done to determine which treatment options are best suited to your needs.
Based on the information your doctor receives, you may need surgery or BiPAP or CPAP masks.
While wearing a sleep apnea mask may seem cumbersome at first, you’ll find that you wake up feeling more rested and with more energy. And you’ll significantly reduce your risk for developing life-threatening illnesses.
We’ve reviewed some of the best sleep apnea and anti-snoring products on the market. Find out which ones we recommend. We’re confident you’ll find a product that will fit your specific needs.
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