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Can being overweight cause sleep apnea?

Can being overweight cause sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea and being overweight can affect the quality of sleep. Find out how Yes You Can! can help.

A person having difficulty sleeping, wondering if sleep apnea and overweight may be related.

According to the American Heart Association Journals, the sleep disorder, known as apnea, impacts around 15 million of the adult population in the United States. This condition, which disrupts the rest of so many people, is closely related to weight issues.

This article explains how sleep apnea and overweight are related, the risks they pose to your health, and how to improve this condition. Take advantage of the tips and information that the Yes You Can! team has carefully prepared for you.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition characterized by episodes of breathing cessation while sleeping. These episodes are caused by a collapse of the upper airway, which extends from the nasal passages to the larynx, including the paranasal sinuses, middle ear, pharynx, and tonsillar structures. As a result of these breathing pauses, oxygen saturation decreases.

This condition affects up to 24% of middle-aged men, while only 9% of women in the same age group suffer from it. The severity of sleep apnea can vary (mild — between 5 and 15 episodes per night —, moderate — 15 to 30 episodes —, and severe — 30 or more episodes —), and the most severe cases can affect up to 16% of the male population and 7.5% of the female population according to a study conducted by doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

The most common symptoms of apnea are poor sleep quality, snoring, and excessive daytime sleepiness. However, in addition to these symptoms, apnea may contribute to the development of more serious diseases that impact the quality of life of those affected.

Relationship Between Sleep Apnea and Overweight

Several clinical trials have supported that among the risk factors for sleep apnea, obesity is one of the most important. Researchers in the field have found that weight gain is strongly associated with the risk of apnea, and that 40% proportion of patients who are overweight suffer from this condition.

This may be related to fat deposits in the respiratory tract and changes in the function of the upper airways resulting from it. Also explored is the possibility — according to a sleep study published in the American Review of Respiratory Disease — that regulatory mechanisms of airway tone and ventilatory control may be impacted by certain substances whose production increases with obesity.

Risks of Sleep Apnea for Health

Given the close correlation between sleep apnea and overweight, some risks of these two conditions overlap or are increased when both situations occur in a patient. Here are some of the health risks that this bidirectional relationship between apnea and overweight can represent:

General health consequences

Apnea, since it leads to restful sleep deprivation, can have consequences on our nervous system and affect our digestive system. Some daytime implications of obstructive sleep apnea, and other variants, are:

  • Headache or headache
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Irritability
  • Decreased libido
  • Depression

Nighttime symptoms may also be experienced, in addition to difficulties in getting restful sleep. These include:

  • Gastrointestinal reflux
  • Nightmares
  • Incontinence
  • Abnormal body movements

Intense daytime drowsiness can also be dangerous when driving, working with heavy machinery, or caring for minors or older adults. Decreased concentration and attention levels can lead to a severe accident. Therefore, apnea patients must assess their condition’s severity and seek effective treatment to improve it.

Cardiovascular Problems

Both obesity and sleep apnea have been proven to correlate with hypertension and heart disease. In the case of apnea, the lack of quality sleep caused by respiratory interruptions prevents blood pressure from decreasing during the night, leading to spikes in high blood pressure.

The coexistence and relationship between obesity and apnea can also increase the risk of suffering from the so-called metabolic syndrome, which is a cause of cardiovascular disease. Other diseases whose risk may increase due to apnea are:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

Tips to Improve Sleep Apnea

The National Institutes of Health suggests that a respiratory or oral device that helps keep the airways clear during sleep can be used to treat apnea. Additionally, it points out that permanent changes toward a “heart-healthy” lifestyle may be necessary to reduce the severity and symptoms of apnea. This would involve the following actions:

  • Regular physical activity
  • Maintaining healthy sleep habits (establishing a routine, avoiding late nights, etc.)
  • Limiting alcohol and caffeine consumption
  • Quitting smoking
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

How to Combat Overweight to Reduce Apnea?

Just as the complications of sleep apnea and overweight overlap, the same is true of the measures you can take to improve both conditions. Treating excess weight also involves changing our habits. The following section will give you some tips on achieving this.

Improve Your Habits

You know you need to exercise and eat better, but how do you achieve this? The best option is to establish exercise routines that adapt to your lifestyle and physical condition. As you improve, you can increase the intensity and include a more comprehensive range of disciplines. You can start at home with professionals who provide remote services, or consult a professional at a gym or privately.

Regarding nutrition, it is also possible to see a nutritionist or seek the support of other professionals. At Yes You Can!, we have a nutrition guide created by certified nutritionist Alejandro Chaban to help you improve your eating habits and avoid the effects of obesity on your health.

Get Extra Help

Effects of weight loss through exercise and healthy eating can take a long time, and require patience to achieve and maintain desired goals. It’s okay to seek extra help to accelerate results and stay motivated.

Yes You Can! supplements are designed to provide that boost. In our catalog, you’ll find products to help you burn fat more quickly, reduce appetite and cravings, and boost the results of your workout routines. Explore the online store and find your ideal supplement and start to enjoy the benefits of weight loss.

Improve the Quality of Your Sleep and Your Life with Yes You Can!

Don’t let weight problems, such as sleep apnea and overweight, affect your quality of sleep and life. Start taking care of your cardiovascular health and working on your physical condition today with Yes You Can! products. Together, we can achieve your healthy life goals.

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