Losing weight can help you sleep better? It’s true. While there are numerous health risks associated with being overweight, few people know obesity is a primary risk factor for the sleep disorder obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disease in which breathing stops (and starts again) repeatedly as a result of the throat muscles relaxing.
Signs of sleep apnea include waking up with a dry mouth (or sore throat), excessive daytime sleepiness, loud snoring (prominent sign of obstructive sleep apnea), waking abruptly and feeling short of breath upon the abrupt waking, morning headaches, and insomnia.
While there are numerous sleep disorder quizzes you can take to see if you have sleep apnea symptoms, if you experience any of the above signs you should consider consulting a medical professional.
What does being overweight have to do with breathing?
People who are overweight are more likely to have fat deposits around the upper airway which can obstruct breathing. In general, people with a neck circumference greater than 17 inches have an increased risk of sleep apnea due to a thick neck narrowing the airways; a wider neck can be (though not a definite) due to obesity.
Obese people are at an increased risk for developing hypertension, or high blood pressure, which is another risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea.
CPAP and Weight Loss
One of the most popular sleep apnea treatments is the use of a continuous positive airflow pressure (CPAP) machine (sometimes called “sleep apnea machines”), which keeps the soft tissues back against the airway walls to provide continuous air, and help prevent the repeated stopping of breathing which defines sleep apnea.
A CPAP machine by itself doesn’t cause weight loss, but it does provide for a more restful sleep and restful sleep improves the body’s overall health and metabolism. Increased metabolism can mean burning calories more quickly and efficiently.
If you’re like me and sleep apnea treatments such as CPAPs are more frustrating than helpful consider weight loss as a way to not only get off of the sleep apnea machine, but you’ll be able to fit back into your old (smaller) clothes. Experts agree the keys to successful weight loss are a healthy diet and exercise. In addition to selling high quality CPAP machines, CPAP machine accessories, and a CPAP pillow, ActiveForever.com also sells affordable exercise equipment and weight loss products.