Sleep Apnea and Weightloss – The Connection

Woman falling asleep on exercise bikePatients with sleep apnea, especially obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), often suffer from the condition due to obesity. Being overweight causes all sorts of problems within the body. As the amount of fat grows on the body, it can literally house itself anywhere. Sometimes fat and fat pockets will grow within the neck and throat area. When an overweight person goes to sleep, this excess weight and fat can cause the airway to collapse and block airflow. This can cause the patient to stop breathing while sleeping, better known as sleep apnea.

For patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea along with obesity, naturally a stride towards a cure would be weight loss. However, for many sleep apnea patients, it isn’t so clear-cut or easy. Those who suffer from sleep apnea of any type often wake up feeling unrested, drowsy, and an overall lack of energy. When you lack energy, you move less, you do less, and often times you eat more. The combination of more food and less exercise generally leads to being overweight, which can then lead to more severe sleep apnea in some cases.

The best method to treating obstructive sleep apnea in those patients who are overweight is through the use of a CPAP machine or oral appliance therapy. Patients who are able to find a sleep apnea treatment that works for them can then move onto treating other conditions such as obesity. An OSA patient who is properly diagnosed and treated for sleep apnea who also takes steps to lose weight is sure to experience great success and (and probably a longer life to boot).

If you believe that you have sleep apnea, contact Dr. Roubal. He will work with you to find a treatment that allows you to sleep safely at night without the fear of not breathing while you sleep. Both the CPAP technology and oral appliance therapy work in order to help sleep apneics sleep better at night, but patients frequently find oral appliances to be more comfortable, which means they actually use the treatment, which results in more energy and less daytime sleepiness.