Are those extra pounds keeping you from getting a full eight hours of quality sleep or is it the other way around? If you’ve added on a few extra inches lately and can’t seem to figure out why, it might be time to take a closer look at your sleep quality. Weight gain and sleep apnea are closely related and can feed into the severity of the other if not treated early.

Sleep Apnea Causing Weight Gain

The probability that the airway becomes blocked increases significantly during sleep. This risk increases substantially for people with underdeveloped jaws that limit the space for their tongue. Reduced space in the mouth combined with relaxation of muscles that keep the tongue pulled forward when you are awake and gravity can pull your tongue back into your airway when you sleep..

Sleep is essential for a healthy body and metabolism. If your airway becomes blocked while you’re sleeping, your body will send a “danger” signal to your brain to wake up so that your blood oxygen level can stabilize. This “fight or flight” response results in secretion of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline into the blood steam. This also results in an imbalance of ghrelin (hunger) and leptin (feeling satiated) hormones. These hormonal changes have been shown to result in weight gain. Multiple interruptions throughout the night cause you to lose quality sleep and prevent your metabolism from being regulated normally. Sleep apnea can cause:

  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Diabetes
  • Weight Gain Causing Sleep Apnea

Excess body weight contributes to sleep apnea. Increased weight, especially around the neck and fatty tongue increase the risk of an obstruction in the airway and prevent adequate amounts of air from reaching your lungs. This increased pressure on the airways can lead to decreased neuromuscular control of the lungs or even collapse as a result of increased fatty deposits. Additional fatty tissue in the trunk also contributes to decreased lung volume making it more difficult to breathe.

Dangers of Untreated Sleep Apnea and Weight Gain

Weight gain and sleep apnea can be even more difficult to manage when experienced together because they can be both the result and cause of each other. For example, poor sleep leads to a reduced metabolic rate which leads to weight gain, which leads to higher risk for sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Kansas City, MO

The most effective treatments are those that begin the earliest. If you’re struggling with managing your weight and you wake up tired even after 8 hours of sleep, it might be a result of sleep apnea. Dr Raman is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine.

Schedule a consultation with him today by calling (816) 436-4422