The potential for your airway to become blocked increases significantly while you sleep. Gravity can pull your tongue back, block your throat, and keep you from breathing normally. Depending on your natural sleeping posture, your airway can become cinched this way as well.
One thing people rarely consider when it comes to getting enough air while they’re sleeping is its effect on their weight. While at first glance the two may seem unrelated, their relationship is actually quite cyclical.
Weight Management Considerations
Sleep is crucial for metabolic regulation. During sleep, our bodies perform the maintenance that helps keep us functional. If your airway becomes blocked while you’re sleeping, you may not be getting enough oxygen, causing you to wake up gasping for air or choking. This sleep disturbance causes you to lose sleep and the resulting side effects of sleep deprivation can follow. Because of this, when your sleep is disrupted, your metabolism isn’t being properly regulated. As a result, if you suffer from sleep apnea, you can experience:
- Weight gain
- Difficulty losing weight
Weight gain can be particularly difficult to deal with because obesity contributes to sleep apnea risk. This combination of conditions and symptoms can be self-perpetuating. Poor sleep leads to low metabolism which leads to weight gain, which leads to a higher risk for sleep apnea. Additionally, through interruption of metabolic regulation, it can also be hard to lose or even maintain your weight if you have sleep apnea.
Weight and Sleep Apnea
Excess body weight contributes to sleep apnea by causing increased pressure on the airways. Pressure on the airways can lead to decreased neuromuscular control of the lungs or even collapse due to the fatty deposits. This collection of additional fatty tissue can contribute to decreased lung volume making it difficult to breathe
Schedule A Consultation With Dr. Marzban
The most effective treatments are those that begin the earliest. If you’re struggling with managing your weight and believe it to be a result of sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with Dr. Marzban today by calling 703-349-4277 or visiting our contact page.