Sleep Apnea & Your Weight
Are You Overweight & Have Trouble Sleeping?
Do you live with excess weight around your waistline or around your neck? Being overweight isn’t enjoyable and can make you feel self-conscious, and losing that extra weight can be even more challenging to deal with. Sometimes, weight loss can be even harder to overcome if you also suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea and weight both affect each other in different ways and one can aggravate the other if ignored. Obesity is one of the most common risk factors of sleep apnea, as it can greatly impact the sufferer’s inability to breathe. If you’re overweight, it’s also likely that you’re more prone to snore which can exacerbate sleep apnea.
Studies have found that because sleep apnea affects a person’s sleep quality and makes them feel excessively fatigued throughout the day, many sufferers are gaining weight because of their disorder. Most people are feeling too tired to get moving and also aren’t always following a balanced diet.
CPAP & Weight Gain
If you’ve already been diagnosed with sleep apnea and have been using a CPAP mask as a method of treatment, it’s probable that you often feel claustrophobic and uncomfortable while wearing it. Sometimes, you don’t even put on your mask before bed because you can’t stand the loud noise it makes.
Now, researchers are discovering a relationship between CPAP and weight gain as another reason why many patients are stopping treatment altogether. In a 2015 study, researchers found an average increase in the body-mass index of over 3,000 patients who were using CPAP for sleep apnea. Many sufferers are now looking for alternatives to CPAP that won’t affect their weight, yet will still provide the same relief for their sleep symptoms.
Dedication to Weight Loss
If you’re overweight and suffer from sleep apnea, Dr. Greenman will first recommend that you make lifestyle changes to lose weight. It will be a long-term commitment that won’t happen overnight, but it can be the change you need that saves your life.
Weight loss is a powerful treatment for sleep apnea and has been proven to diminish symptoms such as snoring, daytime drowsiness, and mood swings. It can also reduce your risk of other serious health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Once you commit yourself to lose weight, it won’t be long until you see a significant drop in your body weight, as well as alleviation of your sleep apnea symptoms.
Which Exercise Do You Prefer?
Exercising doesn’t have to be a chore. Sometimes it can seem intimidating or uncomfortable, especially if you’re overweight because you may not be seeing the immediate results you want.
Although you may find it hard to stick to a workout regimen, exercising can provide you with more energy throughout the day and even help you sleep soundly throughout the night. Finding ways you can enjoy your workouts will help you stay consistent and committed, providing you with numerous benefits in the long run.
You don’t have to try to keep up with a marathon runner on the tracks or lift as many weights as the bodybuilder at the gym to lose weight. With so many different types of exercises available today, you can find a workout that you love and feel confident in.
Some enjoyable, low-impact workouts you may want to undertake are yoga, hiking, or walking along the beach. Other types of workouts you may prefer over the typical gym routine are dancing, aerobics, playing a sport, kickboxing, or swimming. Whatever exercise you choose and find to be the most effective for you, the greater the results you’ll see.
Balance Your Diet
Another important part of weight loss, along with persistent exercise, is eating nutritious foods and following a balanced diet. With the combination of these two lifestyle changes, you won’t only see a drop in your weight, but you’ll also experience relief in your sleep apnea symptoms.
What kind of diet is best for losing weight and improving your quality of sleep? It may vary for each patient, but researchers found that a meal plan as easy as the Mediterranean diet can offer the change you need. However, some diets may work better for one person’s body than another, so make sure to follow a plan that suits you best.
It’s important to remember not to restrict your diet to a point where you dread it and can’t keep up with it. You should still eat in a way that makes you feel satisfied, ensuring you stick to your new meal plan. Once you begin seeing the small changes in your weight, you’ll be able to achieve your overall goals sooner than you know.