Understanding Obesity & Sleep Apnea

Did you know? Up to 3/4 of overweight people struggle with obstructive sleep apnea. Why is being overweight so closely associated with sleep apnea? Having extra soft fat tissue thickens the wall of your windpipe, which makes it harder to keep it open when you are lying prone. This results in pauses in breathing which can last for a few seconds or even minutes, leaving some patients gasping for air.

In less extreme cases, patients may not even realize their sleep is being disrupted by sleep apnea. If you’re overweight and often feel tired during the day despite having spent 8 hours “sleeping,” it’s a good idea to look into whether or not sleep apnea is a factor.

The challenges of obesity and sleep apnea

Obesity and sleep apnea are conditions that often exacerbate each other. Poor sleep leaves people tired and craving a jolt of energy, leading them to reach for sugary or fatty foods. Tiredness also makes people less able to commit to a consistent exercise routine; they simply don’t have the energy. Because of these factors, sleep apnea can promote a negative cycle of tiredness and additional weight gain, worsening the condition.

Sleep apnea doesn’t just make losing weight harder; moderate to severe sleep apnea is associated with 2.5x higher risk of getting cancer—and can make you 3.4x more likely to die from cancer. It also greatly increases stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease risk.

Clearly, good sleep is critical to your health, and if you have even mild sleep apnea, it is important to look into treating it right away.

Getting on track for healthy weight loss and uninterrupted sleep

Here at Inland Weight Loss, we can help with both sleep apnea and weight loss. Our first step is gathering information, so we’ve partnered with a local sleep center that provides in-depth individual sleep studies. This will allow us to most effectively prescribe solutions and plan your care.

Knowing how being overweight can negatively affect their sleep is a motivator for many to get help taking off pounds. We’d love to help you sleep better and feel healthier. Check out our proven medical weight loss options here.