Sleep Apnea & Weight
Is There a Relationship Between Sleep Apnea & Weight?
Obesity is a chronic disease that completely controls your body and negatively impacts your entire well-being. Sometimes, being overweight is difficult to overcome due to a variety of factors, but for those who also suffer from sleep apnea, losing the extra pounds can seem nearly impossible.
One common risk factor associated with sleep apnea is obesity. People who are overweight are more likely to snore and experience apnea episodes, both of which impact their ability to breathe. Obesity also increases your risk for other serious health complications such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Sleep apnea has also been found to cause weight gain due to the lack of energy and motivation you have during the day to workout and eat healthy. Controlling your body weight can be the basic change that not only improves your sleep, but saves your life too.
Weight Changes with CPAP
Sleep apnea is most commonly treated with a CPAP mask that’s worn nightly over your face and consistently blows air through the lungs to keep your airway open. Although this method is highly effective for many, others only wear their CPAP periodically or completely stop using it altogether.
Many CPAP users complain that the machine is loud, restricting, and uncomfortable to wear. Recently, studies have also associated weight gain with CPAP, showing a common average increase in patients’ BMI over the course of treatment when using the mask.
In order to see a change in your figure and lose any excess weight, you must be determined and patient. Many of our patients who want to lose weight so they can sleep better and live a more vitalized life aren’t always aware of the long-term commitment they must make.
Once you dedicate your life to weight loss and make a plan, you’ll soon be able to see an improvement in your health and sleep. A study even found evidence that men who restricted their diets over a nine-week period noticed a significant amount of relief in their sleep apnea symptoms.
Enjoyable Exercises to Try
Exercising isn’t always the most enjoyable part of someone’s day. Some people are built for the gym, whereas others feel uncomfortable and self-conscious when they work out. It can especially be discouraging for those who are overweight because even after an intense workout, their progress isn’t as easily measured.
Finding an exercise that you love and can stay consistent with is one of the best ways to lose weight and feel happy about your change. When you’re able to find a new workout that you enjoy, it’s likely you’ll be able to sustain it and see the results you desire over time.
Rather than hitting the gym for two hours and deciding to skip the next few days because you believe your previous workout was “good enough,” try out new exercises that you won’t dread and that will keep you on a schedule. Some fun and different types of exercises you can try are:
- Walking on the beach
Benefit from a Healthy Diet
Along with keeping up with your daily exercises, your diet will also play a vital role in losing weight. A well-balanced diet can also help improve your symptoms of sleep apnea, resulting in an overall healthier and more energized life.
Dieting isn’t always easy for some of our patients. It’s important when you choose to diet that you find one that fits in with your life and works well for your own body. With a number of meal plans out there that have proven success, it’s crucial to remember that everyone’s body is unique and will react differently to a certain diet than another person’s.
One diet that researchers have found to be highly successful for weight loss, as well as for alleviating sleep apnea symptoms, is the Mediterranean. This diet balances all the foods we love and is even good for your heart.
Once you find a meal plan that suits your lifestyle and you continue to keep up with your exercise routine, it won’t be long until you see a sufficient drop in your weight, as well as an enhancement in your sleep quality. If you have questions about sleep apnea, your symptoms, or treatment options, give us a call today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Takacs.