What’s the Deal with Sleep Apnea & Weight Gain?

What’s the Deal with Sleep Apnea & Weight Gain?

February 9, 2023

Sleep apnea is not only a condition that affects your quality of sleep, but it has also been linked to other health risks, such as excessive weight gain. So, what's the deal with sleep apnea and weight gain? Get the facts in our latest blog!

Sleep Apnea Explained:

A common but potentially dangerous sleep disorder characterized by pauses in your breathing during the night is recognized as sleep apnea. These halts in your breathing can mean not taking a breath for seconds or even minutes at a time. While it may sound like nothing more than an annoyance, sleep apnea can severely impact overall health and well-being. The most common forms of the condition are obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea syndrome, but there are other varieties. Knowing which type you have will empower you to make better choices for managing the risk factors that trigger these events and help maintain good quality restorative sleep.

Symptoms often include loud snoring and choking or gasping when suddenly waking from sleep due to having stopped breathing. Sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems, such as high blood pressure or stroke, when left untreated. Fortunately, there are ways to manage and treat the condition, so if you suspect that you might be affected, please consult a healthcare professional.

How does Sleep Apnea Lead to Weight Gain?

Sleep apnea can wreak havoc on your weight even when your eating habits have not been altered. When dealing with frequent nighttime energy deprivation, you don't get the nutrients or restorative rest required to energize the body. When you're constantly interrupted while sleeping, it also takes a toll on hormones known as leptin and ghrelin. These hormones determine how much we eat and our feelings of fullness. People with sleep apnea tend to overeat because their bodies often don't feel satiated post-meal. They also have difficulty losing weight due to a decreased ability to metabolize fat and sugar. Additionally, sleep apnea is known to cause fatigue during the day due to low-quality sleep, which affects physical activity and lessens the number of calories burned during the day.

The Dangers of Weight Gain in Sleep Apnea Patients:

Weight gain can be an especially dangerous side effect for individuals with sleep apnea. Even a relatively small amount of additional body weight can aggravate the symptoms associated with this condition, such as difficulty breathing and excessive snoring. Excess weight can increase an individual's risk of developing heart disease and type 2diabetes while also putting them at a greater risk of stroke. Maintaining a healthy weight for those affected by sleep apnea can help alleviate symptoms and even reduce their severity. This gives patients a better chance of enjoying a safe and comfortable night's rest.

Don't hit the snooze button on your health; discover how RainierClinical Research Center can help! For those tired of failed weight loss attempts, consider our weight loss studies or contact us at our toll-free number (888) 478 - 8342 for any questions!  


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