If you are obese, you probably already know that you need to shed extra pounds to improve your health. But you may not know that losing weight can also benefit your sleep. Losing weight can help manage certain disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea.
So, how much weight do you need to lose to enjoy the significant benefits of weight loss? This article will look at the effect of being overweight on your snoring and how losing extra weight can improve your sleep by reducing snoring and minimizing your risk of sleep apnea.
Causes of snoring
If you or your bed partner snore during sleep, there could be many reasons that cause the snoring. It could be the shape of your mouth, the position in which you sleep, the medication you take, etc., too much alcohol consumption, and being overweight are the main culprits, though.
You can quickly tell if your weight is putting you at risk of becoming a snorer and ruing sleep for you and your partner by the size of your neck. A neck size over 16 inches for women and over 17 inches for men will, without a doubt, trigger snoring.
Research shows that snoring worsens with age and weight because our throat becomes narrower while our throat muscles get weaker, and the uvula sags even more. This means that it becomes harder for air to move freely through our nose and throat and into our lungs when we breathe.
How does excessive weight ruin your sleep?
Excess weight can lead to strained breathing during sleep which can cause snoring. Severe snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, a severe sleep disorder that causes the upper airway to collapse during sleep. It may also cause more resistance in the upper airway, leading to severe complications, such as obesity, hypoventilation syndrome, stroke, or even sudden death.
Lose weight to reduce snoring
Being overweight can be a massive trigger for snoring. Let’s see how losing weight can reduce or stop snoring.
Shedding the extra pounds is a sure way of improving your breathing as well as your overall wellness. It can help regularize your oxygen and carbon dioxide levels when you are asleep or awake. Losing weight may also improve your lung and heart function, and you can also enjoy some other incredible benefits, such as improved blood pressure and blood sugars.
Different research studies show that weight loss can reduce snoring. A study conducted on 20 asymptomatic obese men who snored heavily showed a notable reduction in snoring occurring after an average weight loss of just 6.6 pounds and a total elimination of snoring in those who lost more weight — an average of 16.7 pounds. The study, however, also showed that a fraction of patients who lost even more weight continued to snore.
This study tells us that even though losing weight can help eradicate snoring in most people, it doesn’t always help everyone. Many other factors, such as anatomy problems, could be contributing to snoring. All in all, losing the extra weight is an outstanding achievement that comes loaded with countless health benefits, even if it doesn’t help eliminate snoring.
So, how much weight should you lose to stop snoring?
How much weight you will need to shed to stop snoring can vary from person-person. Losing 10% can be an excellent place to start. It is, however, advisable that you go over your goals with your doctor to come up with a plan that suits you.
Weight Loss Techniques
Being overweight is hard, but losing weight can be even harder, more so if you are excessively heavy. If you weigh more than 50 percent above your ideal body weight, you may encounter exercise challenges as you try to lose weight.
Some techniques you can employ include;
1) A total lifestyle change: to lose the extra weight needed to stop snoring, behavioral change is necessary. Sometimes we use food as a coping mechanism to relieve stress. We might snack more on sweets or drink coffee drinks packed with calories to get through a rough day. One day’s worth of calories may seem like nothing, but they can add up. Incorporate simple activities, like taking walks during a break to get rid of your excess weight.
2) Exercise: start with low-impact exercises like walking, biking, and swimming. Aerobics or yoga can be pretty helpful too. You can slowly incorporate high-intensity activity like running into your workout program to burn more calories. Remember to do it gently, as this type of exercise can be very tough on the body’s joints. Enrolling in a gym is an excellent way to access a trainer and exercise equipment that might be either out of your financial reach or too large to have at home. Remember to consult with your doctor before you start any intense workout.
3) Diet: you don’t have to go on a rigid diet to lose the excess weight that may be responsible for your snoring. Scale down your calorie intake, slash portion sizes, eliminate fast food and processed foods, and incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet. And less. If you have much weight to shed, a structured weight loss program may be necessary to help you lose weight and reduce your snoring faster.
4) Medication and Weight Loss Supplements: sometimes, we might try hard, but the extra weight can linger stubbornly. When you need more than just diet and exercise, try adding medications or weight loss supplements to diet and exercise. Some of these medications might be stimulants, which can have severe side effects. Consult your doctor before starting any new medication.
5) Bariatric Surgery: if you are overweight, you may need surgery to control how much food you can eat. Eventually, this causes considerable weight loss. Surgery comes with its share of risks, so ensure you get proper medical advice before undergoing it.
Note: You must ensure you lose weight in a controlled manner with appropriate medical supervision. Rapid, unsupervised weight loss is rarely successful in maintaining your ideal weight over the long term.
Weight loss may reduce the degree of snoring and your risk of sleep apnea. If you have persistent sleep apnea, the use of some anti snore devices may be an essential part of your health and weight loss goals. There is also considerable evidence that getting adequate sleep may improve metabolism and reduce unwanted weight gain.