A condition called sleep apnea is when your airway collapses and you stop breathing for a short time during sleep, causing you to wake up.

It is usually caused by the muscles that support the soft tissues in your throat, nose, and mouth relaxing.

Having overweight or obesity can further restrict airways due to a buildup of fat deposits, worsening the condition. The condition can also cause you to gain weight because of the negative effects of sleep apnea on your day-to-day functioning and hormone levels.

It may seem like a catch-22: The less you sleep due to sleep apnea, the more likely you are to gain weight, and the more excess weight you carry, the worse your sleep apnea can be.

There are many things you can do to treat sleep disorders, breathe better and manage a healthy weight.

For starters, lack of sleep can cause you to be hungrier for longer, and to eat more calories than your body needs, especially from calorie- and carb-dense foods. That can lead to weight gain.

Fatigue is another problem caused by poor sleep quality. If you don’t get enough sleep, you probably won’t have as much energy to move around and exercise. If you have lower mobility, that can also keep you from exercising as much as you’d like.

Lack of sleep affects everybody but can particularly impact adolescents’ tendency to gain weight. Adolescence is a crucial time for brain growth and development, and young adults need plenty of good quality sleep to support it.

The growth of the brain region called the hypothalamus can be affected by not getting enough sleep.

In a 2019 study on adolescents with obesity, the faster subjects gained weight, the more likely they were to develop severe obstructive sleep apnea and experience reduced quality and duration of sleep.

Sleep and hormone balance

Your appetite can also become dysregulated because of sleep-related changes to your hormone levels, especially the hormones leptin and ghrelin.

Leptin is the hormone that allows you to feel full when you’ve eaten enough. Those with obesity already have high levels of leptin in their body. It’s been found that people with sleep apnea can also have up to 50 percent more of this hormone compared to those who don’t have sleep apnea.

If your body makes too much leptin, it can become resistant to it, which can make you not feel satisfied after eating.

At the same time, your ghrelin levels may be elevated due to obesity or lack of sleep. This hormone makes you feel hungry, also leading to excessive calorie intake.

“You may eat too much because you are often very hungry and don’t feel full until you’ve eaten.”

Your risk for sleep apnea increases as you get older but occurs across all ages and populations. The countries with the highest number of affected individuals are:

  • China.
  • The United States.
  • Brazil.
  • India.

A study from 2008 on the relationship between weight gain and sleep apnea found that fifty-eight percent of moderate to severe sleep apnea occurs in those who are overweight or obese.

A 2017 study found that change in body weight was directly proportional to sleep-disordered breathing — the less overweight subjects were experiencing, the less likely they were to have sleep apnea or severe sleep apnea.

Weight loss can reduce the severity of sleep apnea, but it is not likely to cure it. Losing weight is one of the most effective treatments for sleep apnea.

Both apnea and obesity can put you at an elevated risk of several serious conditions, including:

Get involved in clinical trails

You can search for ongoing clinical trials involving sleep apnea at clinicaltrials.gov.

A new neuromodulation therapy device, the role of the gut biome, and the prevalence of sleep apnea in specific demographic populations are some of the study areas that are open for participation.

Make sure to talk with your doctor before changing your treatment.

Treating sleep apnea may also help you lose weight. So can lifestyle changes like a balanced diet, more exercise, and some medications.

You will sleep better if you treat your apnea. It is important to sleep in order to lose weight.

Some research has shown that those who usually sleep less than 7 hours have metabolic improvements and greater weight loss when they’re able to sleep more than 7 hours.

Those who sleep less than 6 hours a night may also be more prone to eating more, closer to bedtime, increasing their overall caloric intake and leading to weight gain.

If you have sleep apnea and have overweight or obesity, The American Thoracic Society recommends losing as little as 5-10 percent of your body weight.

Talk to your healthcare team about the best way to manage your weight. This can be a useful part of managing your sleep problems and improving your overall health.

Maintaining a moderate weight with sleep apnea

There are several ways to maintain a moderate weight. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, in addition to your sleep apnea treatments.

Having sleep apnea makes it hard to get enough continuous, high quality sleep. It also increases the chances of developing or worsening other conditions like hypertension, stroke, cardiovascular disease is a disease., and There is a disease called diabetes..

“It is difficult to be active when you don’t get enough sleep because of the hormones that make you put on weight.”

Both sleep apnea and overweight can make it worse, so they can be made worse by each other.

If you have overweight or obese you can reduce your risk of chronic illnesses by losing weight.