Does your obese relative keep you up all night with those loud snores? Or maybe just tired? Here are some facts about the interrelation between your weight and snoring.
Obesity Causes Snoring
According to studies, poor muscle tone in the throat and tongue are one of the catalysts for snoring. This occurs when muscles in the throat and tongue relax, hence collapsing and falling back into the airway.
Not only does weight gain affect snoring but surprisingly, it also works vice versa. Studies have shown that snoring can actually cause interrupted and shortened sleep patterns, both catalysts of weight gain.
Individuals with normal body mass index are still susceptible to snoring. Factors such as poor diet and alcohol consumption as well as stress have been associated with weight gain thus, the possibility of becoming overweight or obese down the line.
What about Sleep Apnea and Obesity?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA is a type of Sleep Apnea associated with weight gain as breathing becomes shallow or even pauses due to the blockage of the upper airway. Factors such as hypertension and visceral fat deposition are not only exclusive to Sleep Apnea conditions but also to obesity.
Once the deposition of fat reaches the upper airway, this can result in a smaller lumen thus, increasing the collapsibility of your upper airway. In the case of hypertension, there is a greater variability when it comes to blood pressure in people suffering from sleep apnea.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC reports that more than 35 percent of adults in America are either overweight or obese.
Snoring Causes Obesity
Snoring causes sleep interruptions which in turn, contributes to your body’s fatigue level. This causes a chain reaction of unnecessary cravings and decreased energy expenditure.
Light sleepers may be at risk too especially if their bed partners are snorers. This increases the risk of weight gain even for an individual who does not suffer from sleep apnea.
Snoring might explain why a person is finding a hard time losing weight despite conscious efforts to stay active and follow a strict diet.
Are you affected by Sleep Apnea?
There is a simple test to see if you are at risk of suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea. A collar size of 15 inches and below puts you in a safer position than those wearing 16 inches or larger.
Is there a fix for snoring?
Although dealing with sleep apnea is a tough task that may require a visit to your physician, there are a few ways that it can be prevented such as:
- Changing your sleep position – Additional pillows or reclining your bed places your head at a higher and extended position opens up the nasal airway passages which can help prevent snoring.
- Stay away from the booze – Contrary to popular belief that alcohol induces sleep, it actually relaxes the muscles at the back of your throat, thus blocking your nasal airway passage. Try going for drinks that boost sleep instead such as Milk or Chamomile Tea.
- Hydration is the key – Speaking of drinks, water is still your best bet. According to Dr. Daniel P. Slaughter, MD, an otolaryngologist and snoring expert, dehydration causes the nose and soft palate to make sticky excretions thus, congesting your nasal airway.
- Try using a mouthpiece – Your dentist can also be your savior if you are suffering from Sleep Apnea. Having a mouthpiece made to adjust the position of your tongue and jaw will keep your airway open while sleeping.
These are just a few tips if you are having snoring problems. Share this article with anyone you know who suffers from Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and you might save a life
Sources and references:
- The Basics of Snoring - webmd.com
- Interactions Between Obesity and Obstructive Sleep Apnea - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- How snoring can cause weight gain - Philly Health