Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder where the wall inside the throat relax’s while sleeping which can interrupt your airways and cause breathing issues. So does weight have anything to do with sleep apnea?
Yes your weight does have a direct impact with sleep apnea. In fact losing just 10 percent of your weight can have a huge reduction of sleep apnea.
To make things worse if you suffer from sleep apnea this condition can also have a side affect of weight gain.
If you are suffering with this condition don’t worry we can help you out.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
If you are unsure if you are suffering from sleep apnea you will need to check what the symptons are.
The most common symptom is loud snoring, but some people don’t even snore but can show signs of
- Loud or frequent snoring
- Pauses in breathing while sleeping
- Chocking whilst sleeping
- Fatigued during the day
- Morning headaches
- Memory loss
People who suffer from this condition commonly have other medical conditions such as
- High Blood Pressure
- Have had a stroke before
- Have had a heart attack before
- Suffer from diabetes
For more information about the symptoms for this condition check out this page
Why Does Sleep Apnea Cause Weight Gain?
It is very important for all of us to get enough healthy sleep, Typically we need eight to nine hours of sleep every night, which is hard for most of us to achieve.
If you suffer from sleep apnea it can influences the production of hormones which in turn cause weight gain for the following reasons.
- Less Energy To Exercise – If you are not getting enough sleep you will typically have less energy the next day, if you have less energy you are less likely to exercise. Did you know it is recommended to do at least 20 minutes of exercise per day?
- Low Mood – Lack of sleep will also cause low moods which will also make you less likely to exercise.
- More Likely To Eat Unhealthy Foods – If you are feeling tired we typically turn to foods with high energy (Typically with lots of sugar in it) in an attempt to recover energy.
- Drink More Coffee – Of course we all drink coffee / Tea when we want a pick me up. Most of us will also get addicted to this and will add drinking a coffee / tea in to our daily schedule (Some times even if we are not tired)
How To Cure Sleep Apnea
We know that the root cause for this condition is a lack of space in your airways, There are many things that we can do to cure / reduce this condition.
This is the obvious solution. Losing just 10% of your weight will have a huge impact on your condition, not only because this will create more space in your airwaves it will also enable you to get much healthier sleep which in turn will
- Give you more energy
- More likely to exercise
- Less likely to drink coffee / tea
There are also a few other things you can do along side losing weight to resolve your condition.
Use a CPAP Machine
A CPAP machine is a device that pushes air in to your airways via a mask on your nose and mouth which keeps your airways open.
A CPAP machine works well for most people and will provide relief from Sleep Apnea. Some people find it hard to sleep with the mask on, You will also need to get use to the air being blown in to you.
Just be aware it will take time to get use to wearing the mask.
CPAP machine technology is improving all the time with the focus on improving the patients comfort levels. These machines are highly recommended to treating sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance
If you are not sure about trying a CPAP machine you might want to try a Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance which is more comfortable and a cheaper option.
This appliance is placed in to your mouth and prevents your tongue and the tissues in the back of the throat from blocking your airways.
Like with the CPAP machine this appliance needs a bit of getting use to but should feel a bit more comfortable than a CPAP machine.
Check Your Tonsils
Another big factor can be your tonsils. With young children their tonsils can grow larger than what their airways can comfortably support. If this is the case you can wait and in 50% of cases resolves them self.
If your tonsils are infected they will grow in size and will reduce the amount of space in your airways. If this is the case you will need to see a doctor about a possible treatment.
If you do think your tonsils are a likely cause for your sleep apnea go see your doctor, they will be able to easily check for you if they are causing an issue or not.
Resolve Nose or Sinus Problems
Whilst sleeping it is very important that the air flow through your nose and sinus is clear. If this path is blocked for what ever reason it will put more pressure on the other air flow route (Via your mouth)
Now that more pressure is being out on to your mouths air path this will increase the chance of you snoring. So we need to tackle the issue that is blocking your air flow to the nose.
If you have a cold or are congested this will have a huge impact, try taking cold / flu pills or congestion pills to help ease the sinus.
For a more permanent solution you should try a nose cone (Shown below). A nose cone will hold open your nostrils which will help to improve the air flow through your nose. A nose cone will also help reduce dry mouth (Another cause of snoring)
Treat Your Dry Throat
A dry throat will also bring on sleep apnea. There are a few things we can do to prevent this like
Avoid Using Mouth Wash With Alcohol – The alcohol will line the inside of your mouth and will cause it to become dry. Use a mouth wash with out alcohol and try to use it a few hours before you go to bed.
Drink Water – Drink a small amount of water before you go to bed, Keep a glass of water next to your bed and drink small amounts during the night if you wake up.
Make Sure Bedroom Not To Hot – If the temperature in your room is quite high try turing it down a little bit.
Use a Humidifier – This will help to put moisture in to the air.
Watch What You Eat – Don’t eat salty or spicy food before you go to bed, try to consume your meal at least four hours before you go to bed.