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Sleep Apnea and Weight Gain: Are They Connected?

May 30, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — drrauchberg @ 7:21 pm
an overweight man lying awake at night because of insomnia caused by weight gain and sleep apnea in Parsippany

If you are unable to achieve adequate rest each night, it may be that you have sleep apnea. What can make matters worse is if you are overweight. You may not realize it but the two are connected and determining which one causes the other isn’t always easy. Fortunately, there are effective solutions available that can treat weight gain and sleep apnea in Parsippany. Read on to learn more about how these two problems go hand-in-hand and what you can do to start breathing better, sleeping more soundly, and living a healthier life.

How Weight Gain and Sleep Apnea Are Connected

When fat deposits form around your neck, additional pressure is placed on your airway. As a result, it can become blocked, causing you to wake numerous times throughout the night because of your inability to breathe. But it’s not just fat that accumulates around the neck that is a problem. It is also believed that extra weight gain in the abdomen can cause the chest cavity to compress and cause problems with an individual’s lung capacity.

Studies report that individuals who are diagnosed as overweight or obese are much more likely to experience obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). But this also begs the question, “If you’re not overweight or obese but have OSA, can it cause you to gain weight?” The answer is yes.

Think about it: If you are tired because you’re not sleeping well, you will continually feel fatigued, reducing your chances of getting adequate exercise. You may even feel too tired to cook and resort to eating fast food more often. Minimal activity usually leads to the leptin in your body decreasing, causing you to eat more. If you’re not choosing the right foods, you will quickly pack on the pounds and put yourself at risk of becoming overweight or obese.

Ways to Treat the Problem and Live a Healthier Life

If you want to avoid the potential for diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, arrhythmia, and other serious health conditions, it’s time to consider what you can do to lose weight and better manage your sleep apnea in Parsippany. Some of the most helpful tips include:

  • Meet with your dentist to discuss oral appliance therapy or an alternative solution to treat your sleep apnea. This type of device will keep your airway open throughout the night, allowing you to sleep and rest much better.
  • Get plenty of exercise. No matter what you choose to do (i.e., walk, run, lift weights, join a gym, get a personal trainer), moving your body can help boost your energy and help you shed unwanted pounds.
  • Eat healthier foods and cut out the sugar and starch. Fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, leafy greens, and low-fat dairy are great options for a healthy diet.
  • Don’t be afraid to consider surgery if you need to lose a significant amount of weight.

Losing weight and managing your sleep apnea will give you the best opportunity to embrace a better quality of life. If you are unsure where to start, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local physician or dentist for help.

About Our Practice
Rauchberg Dental experts are here to provide exceptional service to patients of all ages. If you’re experiencing sleep apnea issues, our team will work with local sleep doctors to create a personalized plan that is designed to minimize symptoms and allow for better sleep and more improved breathing. We will also provide helpful tips to shed a few pounds if your weight is a contributing factor to your sleep apnea. Visit our website or call (973) 334-3777 to find out how we can help you.