Weight Gain and Sleep Apnea

Gaining weight while you sleep? This could be why: weight gain and sleep apnea

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You may not know it but there is a correlation between weight gain and sleep apnea. In fact, people who suffer from sleep apnea are more likely to be overweight. Studies have shown that when  your sleep is disturbed, you often feel hungrier during the day and in time, gain weight. On top of this, if you are tired due to the sleep deprivation sleep apnea causes, you are less likely to exercise.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea affects millions of people in America every year. Sleep apnea occurs when your breathing pauses while you are sleeping. Most people who suffer from apnea don’t know that they are doing it because they are fact asleep when it occurs, but, with each paused breath, your brain wakes you up to resume breathing. Sleep apnea not only robs your body of oxygen, it also robs you of healthy sleep. The pauses in breath are due to a blocked airway, caused buy a misaligned jaw, over relaxation of the throat muscles, or an excess of throat tissues.

Beyond the health issues associated with excess weight, there is also a correlation between sleep apnea and heart disease.

Get back to healthy sleep and healthy weight

There are simple things you can try at home to minimize sleep apnea such as avoiding caffeine in the afternoon, engaging in moderate exercise, being careful of what you eat and drink before bedtime and, of course, talking with your Westminster dentist about a treatment plan.

There are several effective treatments for sleep apnea.

  • CPAP: CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. It’s a machine that keeps your airway open by pushing a constant flow of air into you lungs while you sleep. While effective CPAP can be uncomfortable and noisy, driving many sleep apnea patients to seek alternatives.
  • Oral devices: Your Baltimore/Westminster  dentist can make a cast of your teeth to create an oral dental device. This appliance prevents the soft tissues of your throat from sagging while you sleep or reposition your jaw to allow more air in, reducing or eliminating the symptoms of sleep apnea.

Learn more about sleep apnea

There are ways to break the pattern of weight gain and sleep apnea. With effective sleep apnea treatment, exercise and a healthy diet, you’ll be on your way back to a healthy life.

For more information about the impacts of sleep apnea, download my free e-book, “A Sleep Disorder Can Kill You”.

About the author

A practicing dentist since 1982, Dr. Gary Imm, provides advanced cosmetic dentistry, including smile makeovers, sedation, implant and TMJ services. He is committed to progressive, extraordinary care for his guests. All Smiles Dental Care trains at least 300 hours each year at such prestigious centers as the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dentistry. (LVI)
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