Sleep Apnea and Obesity: Is there a relation?

April 27, 2017 |  by  |  About Sleep Apnea

Obesity has been linked to many different medical issues. Medical experts have found medical issues such as hypertension, diabetes type 2, heart related issues and elevated levels of cholesterol to be tied into one being overweight. As obesity is on the rise more and more medical conditions are being linked to being obese. One rising concern in the medical field is the link between sleep apnea and obesity. As people gain weight they often feel tired all the time and they have lower energy levels. Sleep problems, such as sleep apnea, have also been linked to being overweight. In fact, recent studies have shown that nearly 80 percent of people who suffer from sleep apnea are also overweight.

Understanding Sleep Apnea Obesity


The more weight we gain the quicker we are to get out of breath. Since overweight people tend to lose their breath fast it is often harder for them to begin any type of exercise or weight loss program. The larger we are the harder our vital organs have to work. Sleep apnea obesity is a growing concern in the medical field. Sleep apnea affects the quality of one’s sleep. Most people who suffer with moderate to severe sleep apnea will not get a sound night’s sleep due to the fact that they are constantly being woken up gasping for air. This of course will leave one with the feeling of excessive tiredness. For people who are overweight this becomes even more of a struggle. As overweight people tend to have less energy to begin with. Sleep apnea and obesity is a vicious cycle as the level of energy decreased the less likely the chance of overweight people being able to start an exercise routine.

Sleep apnea obesity not only affects adults but in the last years there have been a growing number of children who suffer from sleep apnea. Obesity as a whole is also growing in children and this is an alarming trend and when sleep apnea obesity is added to the mix, the children may be setting themselves up for a lot of medical issues in the coming years.

Sign and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea Obesity

While everyone is different, the following are some signs that can help determine if one is suffering from sleep apnea.

  • Being obese or overweight
  • Loud and interrupted snoring
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Morning headaches
  • Behavioral issues
  • Irritability and confusion

Breathing requires more effort- Obesity sleep apnea patients will often have flaring nostrils, sweating during the night and heaving chests.

While the above list is just a few signs and symptoms of sleep apnea, if you have any of the above issues you may want to speak with your medical care provider.

Treatment of Sleep Apnea and Obesity

Weight loss is an effective form of treatment for sleep apnea obesity. However, medical experts also realize that in order to be able to effectively lose weight one will need the energy levels to do so. Losing weight is hard enough and if one does not have the energy there is a slim to none chance that this will happen. So as a first line of treatment the use of CPAP machines are often used.

CPAP machines are designed to help keep the airways open while one sleeps. There are numerous types of machines that are available and often come in a few different style masks as well. Your medical care provider can help choose the right form of CPAP for you. While CPAP machines can help one to get a good night’s sleep the pressing issue is that of being overweight. The goal of CPAP treatment is to help one be able to sleep soundly so that the energy levels return to norm. Once the energy levels have restored back to normal, people who are overweight should begin an exercise program.

CPAP machines are not meant to be a cure for sleep apnea and obesity. However they can be used as tool to get your life back on track. If you are suffering from sleep apnea obesity the time is now to speak with your medical care provider. Not only is sleep apnea obesity a concern there are many other medical issues that one who is overweight should be concerned with.

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