Sleep Apnea and Your Weight
Suffering from sleep apnea can affect your life in more ways than simply disrupting your nightly rest. Lack of sleep can cause stress, fatigue, and even weight gain. And gain can even make your sleep apnea symptoms worse, creating a vicious cycle.
It is important not to lose hope — with the proper attention and treatment, there ways to work through the effects of sleep apnea to maintain a healthy and productive life, and keep your general health in check. Dr. Alice Bassford is an experienced sleep dentist with special training in sleep apnea care. She has real solutions to relieve your symptoms so you can get healthy, restful sleep every night. .
Weight Gain and CPAP Machines
While sleep apnea can affect anyone, being overweight can increase your risk and worsen existing symptoms by making it even more difficult to breathe. This is even true for patientsusing CPAP. In fact, CPAP machines have actually been shown to trigger weight gain. In a 2015 study that examined over 3,000 sleep apnea patients, many reported an increased body-mass index with use of their CPAP machine.
Although CPAP machines are a common treatment for sleep apnea, they’re loud, awkward, it restricts your movement while you sleep. This can discourage users. Only four out of every five CPAP users wear their machines as often as advised. Finding an effective alternative is a great way to combat sleep apnea.
Dr. Bassford specializes in offering oral appliance therapy, which is a quiet, less abrasive treatment option. With the right treatment and lifestyle changes, sleep apnea can be a thing of the past.
How Weight Loss Can Improve Your Sleep
Losing weight has a huge list of benefits – improved mood, confidence, a lowered risk for disease such as diabetes and more. If done in a healthy way, weight loss can be life-changing.
Often times, your weight and sleep go hand-in-hand. Sleep can aid in weight loss and is often suggested along with an active lifestyle. When you have a consistent good night’s sleep, your body functions at its best to properly store energy, fat, and reduce cravings during the day – which makes managing weight easier and more successful.
In turn, losing weight can allow for a more fitful sleep, reducing the pressure on your airways.
The Freedom of Weight Loss
Ways to Make Exercise Fun
Weight loss is a long-term solution to sleep apnea. There are many ways to reclaim your rest, health and happiness. From workout plans to everyday changes, the power to improve is in your hands.
We’re all busy, and sometimes our own health can take the backburner. But incorporating a little effort into your everyday routine can bring incredible results. You can start with small changes, such as a walk around the neighborhood before dinnertime, a run at the park with a friend, or even ten minute yoga breaks during your workday.
Starting a new hobby, like joining a dance or aerobics class, can make weight loss enjoyable, and it also introduces the benefit of a community to share your journey with.
The Power of Your Diet
Diet and exercise work as the dynamic duo in weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Nourishing your body with nutritious, wholesome foods whenever possible will have positive effects on not just your physical health, but your mental health.
Nutrition specialists have recommended calorie counts for age and activity levels, but sometimes following a guide, like the Mediterranean Diet pyramid, can make following a healthy diet feel less restricting and more enjoyable.
Your Improved, Healthy Life Starts With You and the Right Team
When you have a clear goal in mind, you deserve to have the best support behind you. Dr. Bassford and her team are determined to be with you every step of the way in improving your health, starting with getting you the sleep you deserve. With state-of-the-art technology, a decade of experience in the United States Army Dental Corps. and Diplomate status from the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Bassford is your top choice for dental sleep medicine in Silver Spring. Call (301) 593-5500 to make an appointment today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can weight loss cure sleep apnea?
While weight loss can drastically improve your sleep apnea symptoms, most sleep apnea cases can’t be permanently cured. However, weight loss has been shown to reduce symptoms for patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
OSA causes you to stop breathing due to a blockage in the airway. In some cases, the weight of your neck narrows and blocks the airway during sleep. As a result, losing weight can help clear your airway and significantly improve your sleep apnea symptoms.
Before starting any weight loss program, make sure to talk with Dr. Bassford about your goals and what impact weight loss may have on your symptoms.
Can people who aren’t overweight have sleep apnea?
Yes — while being overweight is a common underlying cause of sleep apnea, people of all sizes and ages can develop the disorder. That’s why it’s essential to take careful note of any symptoms you’re experiencing and undergo a sleep test if you think there’s even a chance you have sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is affected by many factors besides weight. For example, a larger neck circumference or smaller airway due to anatomical development can be the cause of breathing problems. Maintaining a healthy body weight won’t guarantee that you don’t develop sleep apnea, but it should at least help you manage your symptoms.