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How Much Weight Loss To Stop Sleep Apnea [2024 Updated]?
Healthy adults need at least seven hours of sleep daily for optimal health. Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can disrupt a healthy sleep cycle. It also increases your risk of depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and stroke.
Weight loss may assist you in treating sleep apnea. But how much weight loss is healthy to stop sleep apnea? And how can losing weight cure sleep apnea?
How Much Weight Loss To Stop Sleep Apnea Symptoms?
Losing about 10% of your current weight could significantly improve your sleep apnea and reduce your symptoms. A study shows that sleep apnea sufferers who lost up to 20 pounds in a year and maintained their weight loss experienced fewer sleep apnea symptoms.
People with mild sleep apnea might also experience the disappearance of their symptoms with weight loss. Researchers found that losing about 33 pounds could cure mild sleep apnea cases.
The lower your current weight and waist circumference, the better your results might be. Therefore, aim for a sustainable weight loss journey that brings consistent results.
Significant weight loss is invaluable for reducing other health complications that you might experience due to sleep apnea. Therefore, you might observe improvement in heart conditions and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and stroke.
Losing weight is just as important as keeping it off. Hence, pursue only sustainable weight loss options for your health.
How Can Weight Loss Help With Sleep Apnea Treatment?
People who are overweight might have extra tissue that could cause airway obstruction in their sleep. Therefore, as you drop the excess fat, your obstructive sleep apnea might be improved.
Obstructive sleep apnea affects at least 25 million American adults and is more prevalent among overweight and obese people.
If you are overweight or obese you are likely to have excess fatty deposits in your neck called pharyngeal fat. When you sleep, your airway relaxes; therefore, the excess fat can block your airway. Your breathing can become labored and you could stop breathing multiple times through the night.
Excess abdominal fat can also affect your breathing at night. The extra fat can compress your chest wall, reducing your chest capacity and increasing the likelihood that your upper airway collapses and you stop breathing.
These risks associated with being overweight could be reduced with weight loss. Therefore, if you lose the excess fat, you could eliminate the extra pressure on your chest wall and decrease the chances of blocking your airway with pharyngeal fat.
Weight loss is also helpful for other health conditions associated with sleep apnea. For instance, losing weight could help improve heart disease, lower blood pressure, and decrease your risk of stroke.
How To Lose Weight For Sleep Apnea
Starving yourself simply to lose weight is not only unsustainable but could hurt you as well. On your journey to getting healthy, you should ensure you are getting proper nutrition and taking advantage of physical activity.
Calories present in food give your body the energy it needs to perform daily functions. However, if you are getting more calories from food than your body needs, you will be saving the extra fat in various parts of your body causing weight gain.
On the flip side, consuming fewer calories than your body needs daily, will send you to your fat reserves for energy. That is why restricting your daily calorie intake is essential for weight loss.
A study on overweight people with sleep apnea used a caloric deficit diet to improve sleep apnea with about 20 pounds of weight lost.
However, take precautions not to severely limit your calorie intake. You still need to ensure you are getting the proper nutrition daily. Starting at about 500 calories less than your normal daily intake is a good place to start.
Weight loss-promoting supplements such as CBD could help you on your weight loss journey.
Engaging in physical activity can help you burn fat and lose excess weight to improve your sleep apnea.
Joining a gym or getting a physical trainer can help you stay focused on your goals. However, you can lose weight without the gym through simple at-home routines.
Instead of going on the treadmill at your local gym, you could take a walk around your neighborhood instead. You can also use household items as props for your exercise routine.
The right blend of exercise can help you lose weight and tone your muscles.
Aerobic exercises such as walking, running, cycling, and swimming are easy to get into. They are excellent fat burners and are beneficial for your heart health too.
Strength training and resistance training exercises might involve weight lifting and using resistance bands. These types of workouts help you tone your muscles to achieve a leaner appearance.
Building muscles also helps you burn calories faster.
Other Treatments For Sleep Apnea
While weight loss reduces sleep apnea, it might not provide a cure. Your doctor might still recommend other treatments to manage your condition.
In addition to losing weight, you can make some changes to your lifestyle that can help you manage your sleep apnea.
These changes are typically the first-line treatment for sleep apnea and help you normalize your breathing.
You could try the following:
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is a major sleep apnea treatment that helps to keep your airway open through the night. CPAP works by providing pressurized air through a mask constantly.
The increased air pressure from the machines helps prevent airway collapse while you sleep. Initially, you might find the CPAP machine uncomfortable but it gets more comfortable after your adjustment period.
You could also get other airway pressure devices such as Bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) and Variable Positive Airway Pressure (VPAP).
Mandibular Repositioning Device (MRD)
These custom-made oral appliances help to keep your jaw and upper airway open through the night.
After a complete assessment by your dental professional, they’ll take a mold of your teeth to design your custom oral appliance for sleep apnea.
The mandibular repositioning device (MRD) is the first line of treatment for relieving the symptoms of mild obstructive sleep apnea.
Your doctor and sleep specialist might recommend medication for the management of your sleep apnea symptoms. You will need to consult your doctor for medical advice before taking any medication for sleep apnea. That is because these drugs can have serious side effects and might not be for everyone.
When other sleep apnea therapies fail to provide desirable results, your doctor might suggest getting surgery to widen your airway.
Your doctor can surgically remove excess tissue or enlarged tonsils that might be obstructing your airway. Depending on how extensive your procedure will be, your doctor can perform the procedure in their office or at a hospital.
How much weight loss is recommended to stop sleep apnea? The answer is clear: losing up to 10% of your current body weight could help improve your obstructive sleep apnea symptoms. Weight loss may help reduce some of the pressure on your chest obstructing your airway.
When you lose weight, you could also improve your overall health by reducing your risk of other health conditions associated with sleep apnea such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
Committing to a healthy calorie-deficit diet and exercise could help you shed pounds.
Your doctor can also recommend other treatments for your sleep apnea such as lifestyle changes, airway pressure devices, oral devices, and surgery.
+ 8 sources
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