Sleep Apnea Weight

The Why, What and How of Sleep Apnea Weight

Sleep Apnea Weight
Lack of sleep has been known to increase appetite due to higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

When you're sleep-deprived, the feeling of hunger doesn't seem to go away, which would lead to eating more and weight gain. So, naturally, you would gain weight if you have sleep apnea.

This is especially true if breathing difficulties or obstruction would cause you to have trouble sleeping or going back to sleep.

Why do you gain sleep apnea weight?

Most patients with sleep apnea are overweight or obese, although not true in all cases, for the same reason that lack of sleep can lead to unhealthy food cravings, as a result of sleepiness or daytime fatigue.

A 2004 study conducted by the Stanford University and the University of Wisconsin revealed that people who are sleep-deprived have hormonal imbalance.

  • Higher levels of hormones that trigger appetite
  • Lower levels of hormones that suppress appetite

Moreover, sleep deprivation can compromise insulin levels that, in turn, affect blood sugar management and production of Leptin, which is the hunger-regulating hormone.

If Leptin signals are few, higher amounts of ghrelin are produced, which is the hormone that tells the brain that it is time to eat.

sleep apnea weightKeeping your weight under control helps fight sleep apnea

Imagine how hungry you’d feel all day with all that added ghrelin signals. Suffice to say that problems with insulin levels can create a domino effect.

The sleep deprivation and weight gain cycle

There is a correlation between obstructive sleep apnea and weight gain.

But there are also instances when being overweight leads to sleep apnea. Studies showed that extra tissue and fat in the neck area compress the airway and other parts of the body related to sleep apnea.

When this happens, organs and tissues would swell, leaving little room for oxygen to travel, resulting in sleep apnea.

This means someone overweight is at risk of developing sleep apnea, and someone with sleep apnea is at risk of being overweight or putting on weight.

Good nutrition helps with sleep apnea and weight

sleep apnea weightHealthy foods help sleep apnea

If you develop sleep apnea due to obesity, solving your weight problem is highly likely to improve the other condition. But what happens if it is the other way around?

Whichever is the case, dealing with weight gain or sleep apnea weight is possible with good nutrition. Eat foods that are not only healthy, but also help with sleep apnea and weight gain. These include fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains and plant based oils. Take a look at the Sleep Apnea Diet page for more information about correct foods to eat

Make sure to follow the same healthy diet, even if you’re not overweight, but are suffering with sleep apnea.


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