Sleep apnea and weight gain are undoubtedly related. Excess weight can cause sleep apnea, and sleep apnea, in turn, can hinder a person’s ability to manage their weight.
Weight Gain and Sleep Apnea
- Untreated sleep apnea and excess weight can produce a vicious cycle
- Untreated sleep apnea causes hormone fluctuations that make it difficult to regulate weight
- Untreated sleep apnea can negatively alter a person’s metabolism
People who are overweight are much more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than those at a healthy weight. This can be due to excess fat around the neck, which causes a collapse in the airway during sleep. Research shows that a neck circumference greater than 17 inches means a person is at high risk for sleep apnea. Sleep Apnea and Weight Gain—A Dangerous Cycle
The more severe the sleep apnea, the more likely the patient will gain weight- a dangerous cycle. And the lack of energy associated with sleep apnea also inhibits a person’s ability to exercise and lose weight. This can be very discouraging for an untreated sleep apnea sufferer who is trying to manage their weight.
Break the Cycle—Treat Your Sleep Apnea and Control Your Weight
Sleep apnea treatments can improve the success of weight loss efforts. Research indicates that CPAP therapy rapidly decreases the levels of hunger-inducing hormones and helps regulate appetite-controlling hormones.
With a good night’s sleep, patients will have more energy to maintain the healthy diet and exercise routine that is essential to managing weight, which in turn serves to alleviate sleep apnea symptoms.