Sleep Apnea and Your Weight

in Silver Spring, MD

Your Weight May Be Increasing Sleep Apnea Symptoms

Suffering from sleep apnea can easily hinder your day-to-day life. Lack of sleep can cause stress, fatigue, and even weight gain. Weight gain can make your sleep apnea symptoms worse, creating a vicious cycle. However, our Silver Spring sleep dentist offers sleep apnea treatments that can lessen your symptoms and get you the sleep you need. 

Dr. Alice Bassford is an experienced dentist with specialized 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 patients using CPAP. CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines have 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 the use of their CPAP machine.

Although CPAP machines are known as the top treatment for sleep apnea, they’re loud and bulky, and they restrict your movement while you sleep, which can quickly discourage patients from use. Only four out of every five CPAP users wear their machines as often as advised.

For those looking for a CPAP alternative, Dr. Bassford specializes in 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

Weight Loss Can Improve Your Sleep

Losing weight has a huge list of benefits, including:

  • Improved mood 
  • Boost in confidence 
  • A lowered risk for diseases such as diabetes
  • Can be life-changing when done safely 

Often, 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 and properly stores energy and fat, reducing cravings during the day — which makes managing weight more accessible and more successful. In turn, losing weight can allow for more fitful sleep, reducing the pressure on your airways.

Lifestyle Changes You Can Make

Making Exercise Fun

We’re all busy, and sometimes our health can take the back burner. 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. Weight loss can be a long-term solution to sleep apnea.

Modifying Your Diet

Diet and exercise work as a dynamic duo in weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Nourishing your body with nutritious, whole foods whenever possible will bring positive effects on not just your physical health but your mental health as well.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can weight loss cure sleep apnea?

While weight loss can drastically reduce your sleep apnea symptoms, most sleep apnea cases aren’t curable. However, weight loss has been shown to reduce symptoms for patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In some OSA cases, the weight of the neck narrows and blocks the airway during sleep. As a result, losing weight can help clear your airway and significantly improve 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.

Does sleep apnea make weight loss harder?

Yes, sleep apnea can cause weight loss harder. There are various reasons why sleep apnea can create difficulties with losing weight, including:

  • Low energy or chronic fatigue
  • Slower metabolism
  • Hormonal changes
  • Increased cravings
  • Excess fat causes inflammation
Does sleep apnea affect metabolism?

Yes, untreated sleep apnea can affect your metabolism. Sleep apnea may cause spikes in blood sugar, hormones, and blood pressure which can significantly affect your metabolism. As a result, some may have difficulty losing weight, which can lead to other health consequences.

Find The Treatment You Need at Silver Spring Sleep Solutions

If you’re ready to tackle the symptoms of sleep apnea, contact our Silver Spring sleep dentist today. Dr. Bassford will create your custom treatment plan to get you on the path to better sleeping and living. Just call our Silver Spring, MD office at 240-234-0948 to schedule your appointment. You can also request more information by filling out our online contact form.



10301 Georgia Ave, Suite 207
Silver Spring, MD 20902