You might think that an overweight Santa snoring away after a long night of indulging in cookies is a cute addition to a cartoon, but snoring can often indicate a much bigger problem going on. Oftentimes, snoring is actually a direct result of carrying too much weight. Carrying excess weight can also contribute to health conditions such as high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and other heart conditions.
One possible solution to ending your nightly snoring habit is simply to lose weight. Keep reading to learn if losing weight to help you stop snoring is right for you.
Why Does Excess Weight Cause Snoring?
When you have excess fat in your body, it usually doesn’t go to just one area of your body. It likely distributes itself a little bit everywhere. One of the areas that fat tends to accumulate in is the neck. When fat accumulates in the neck, it can cause compression on the upper airway, especially when laying down due to gravity. One way to check if you have excess fat in your neck is by measuring the circumference of your neck. If it exceeds more than 16 inches, it’s likely a contributing factor.
Extra fat in the midriff can also cause snoring; however, it’s more indirect. Fat in the abdomen pushes the diaphragm up (similar to what happens during pregnancy). As it pushes the diaphragm up, the fat compresses the rib cage which shrinks your lung’s volume. With a smaller lung volume, your airflow becomes more restricted which can make it difficult to prevent your throat from collapsing.
Men are more likely to gain fat in these areas which explains why snoring is more common in men. After menopause, however, central weight gain is more common in women which increases their risk of snoring.
Snoring Can Cause Weight Gain
Not only do you have to worry about snoring if you gain weight, but you have to worry about gaining weight from snoring. It’s an endless cycle. When you snore at night, you’re not sleeping as well as you could be and if sleep apnea is the cause of your snoring, you’re really not getting a good night of sleep. With the bad quality of sleep, you’re likely feeling tired throughout the day which will cause you to crave high carbohydrate foods and sugar. The lack of energy will also keep you from feeling motivated to exercise. The combination of everything results in weight gain which will then contribute to more snoring.
So what can you do? Keep reading!
The Dangers of Snoring
Snoring isn’t just an annoying noise that happens while you sleep. It can also indicate serious health problems such as sleep apnea. Snoring is actually your body’s way of telling you that air isn’t escaping your lungs correctly. If you’re snoring and waking up choking, coughing, or catching your breath, it’s a sign you have sleep apnea. Untreated sleep apnea can increase your risk of serious health complications such as stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure. Additionally, snoring and sleep apnea can lead to sexual dysfunction, pregnancy complications, and domestic violence. Snoring doesn’t just disrupt sleep, it disrupts your health and can be incredibly dangerous.
Can Weight Loss Help with Snoring?
If your snoring is tied directly to excess weight, then yes, weight loss can help with snoring. However, snoring might be impacting your sleep to the point where you don’t have the energy or motivation to eat healthier and exercise regularly which can make weight loss difficult. Although weight loss can help, you need some help yourself to get on track to start a diet and exercise plan. That’s where TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado comes to the rescue.
Snoring Treatment in Denver, CO
If you suffer from snoring and would like to stop, our first recommendation is to take a sleep test. You can take a sleep test in the comfort of your home and it will tell our sleep dentist whether or not you suffer from sleep apnea. Next, we will evaluate your airway and prescribe the best oral appliance for your needs. Every night, you will wear the oral appliance while you sleep. It will hold your airway open so that you no longer snore and can get a good night of sleep!
Once you start getting your energy back during the day, you can start working on a diet and exercise regimen to help you lose weight. After you lose the necessary weight, you might no longer need the oral appliance to prevent yourself from snoring at night. Regardless, seeking snoring treatment in Denver, CO from our sleep dentist is the best way to help you stop snoring at night and finally shed some weight! If you would like to learn more about our snoring treatment, please call us for a consultation today at (303) 691-0267.