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Weight Loss and Sleep Apnoea

Benefits Of Sleep

Weight Loss and Sleep Apnoea

Many people struggle to maintain a healthy body weight. Whether resulting from a slow metabolism, a poor diet, an excessive amount of stress, or an underlying condition, there are many concerns which need to be taken seriously. 

Your sleep can play a very real role, so it should only stand to reason that those who have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea are at a particular risk. 

Also, excess weight can cause otherwise healthy individuals to develop OSA. 

This is a rather complicated subject and numerous factors come into play. Let’s therefore take some time to examine why sleeping is so very important for those who wish to proactively control their obesity. 

We’ll also look at why losing a bit of excess weight can lead to a number of incredible health benefits. 

Sleep Helps to Control Your Weight

Many readers will be surprised to learn that sleep can actually help the body lose weight. There are several proven scientific reasons behind this seemingly illogical observation. 

First, the body utilises sleep as a “window” to repair cellular damage that has occurred throughout the day. Food and nutrients are its main sources of fuel. 

Even while unconscious during the overnight hours, the average individual can burn as many as 83 calories on an hourly basis. If we assume that he or she is sleeping for eight hours, this equates to over 660 calories (an average meal). 

Another factor to highlight is that sleep enables the body to absorb vitamins and minerals while simultaneously certain chemicals known as hormones. Some of these hormones (cortisol in particular) are directly related to weight gain. 

In other words, those who are unable to obtain a sound night of rest — or who repeatedly awake due to conditions such as sleep apnoea — will often find it difficult to control their weight in a healthy manner. 

Can Sleep Apnoea Contribute to Weight Gain?

The short answer to this question is a resounding “yes”. However, it is also a bit more complicated. Sleep apnoea can cause weight gain while weight gain can likewise increase the chances of developing sleep apnoea. Let us examine both sides of this coin in more detail.

We already mentioned that broken sleep can wreak havoc upon the ability of the body to repair itself and impact levels of hormones. Both of these scenarios will inevitably lead to feelings of lethargy throughout the day. 

Thus, it is much more difficult for individuals to find the motivation (and the energy) to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, they may also be tempted to eat foods high in sugar and so that they can obtain short bursts of energy. This will obviously increase the chances of gaining weight.

Also, those who are already obese are at a much higher risk of developing obstructive sleep apnoea. Although the discrete mechanics of OSA are not yet fully understood, it is a well-known fact that excess weight and this condition enjoy a hand-in-hand relationship. This may be due the fact that higher levels of fat around the neck and chest can cause the airways to narrow; further exacerbating what might have otherwise been a rather mild case of OSA. 

The main takeaway point here is that both of the situations mentioned above represent a self-perpetuating cycle. Those who tend to gain weight are more likely to develop sleep apnoea — and anyone who already has sleep apnoea is at a higher chance of becoming even more obese due to poor dietary habits and a sedentary lifestyle. 

More Risks of Obesity

One reason why weight loss has taken centre stage in modern society involves how much we have come to learn about the negative consequences associated with obesity. Indeed, we are witnessing a veritable epidemic in many portions of the world; the majority of these being western countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States. 

We are already aware that those who are obese have higher mortality rates. However, some other chronic illnesses that will often accompany this condition include (but are by no means limited to):

  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes
  • Heart attacks and strokes
  • Joint and mobility problems
  • Poor circulation

Overweight individuals are also at a greater risk of developing several types of cancers. When we then take into account those who have already been diagnosed with sleep apnoea, the situation becomes even more challenging. This is why knowing how to lose weight (and to keep weight off) is arguably one of the most profound lifestyle changes that you will ever make. 

Tips and Tricks to Lose Weight in a Healthy Manner

We should first begin by stating that losing weight within an extremely short period of time is generally considered unhealthy. Firstly, this can place the metabolic processes of your body under a great deal of strain. Furthermore, those who lose weight very fast are more likely to “rebound” and gain even more once their dietary regimen ends. 

It is much better to aim to lose between one and two kilograms per week for an extended period of time. Your body will be provided with the ability to adapt. 

Also, weight loss does not only involve diet. It should rather encompass an entire lifestyle. Simply eating less and remaining seated on a couch will hardly produce beneficial results. 

A good programme will also consist of regular physical activity, reducing the amount of stress in your life and (once again) obtaining the proper amount of sleep every night. Although the results may take a bit of time to appear, there is no doubt that the long-term benefits far outweigh any short-term discomfort. 

On a final note, you do not necessarily have to lose dozens of kilograms before feeling the health effects of such a positive habit. It has been shown that even those who lose a mere five per cent of their body mass index (BMI) will experience massive improvements. If you are able to adhere to a specific routine, there is no doubt that you will achieve your long-term goals.

Why It’s Important to Address Sleep Apnoea Symptoms

If you suspect you are suffering from sleep apnoea, you will find this advice even more challenging. After all, adopting a strict diet and exercise regimen can be nearly impossible if you lack energy throughout the day. 

This is why obtaining an at-home sleep test should always represent the first step. This overnight examination will clearly indicate whether or not sleep apnoea is present. 

Should you test positive, highly effective solutions such as the regular use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine can produce long-lasting results. 

Have you grown tired of carrying around excess weight? Are you concerned about your health or do you believe that you might have sleep apnoea? If so, make it a point to speak with a doctor or sleep specialist sooner as opposed to later. You will be provided with a number of life-changing options. 

To order the Intus At-Home Sleep Test: https://www.sleeptest.co.uk/product/in-home-sleep-test/

To shop for the highest-quality selection of CPAP devices: https://www.cpap.co.uk/shop.html

 

Author: JENNY HALL

About author: Jenny Hall is a clinical manager at Intus Healthcare’s parent company, Baywater Healthcare. She has extensive specialist clinical experience from Regional Nurse Adviser through to Senior Nurse Adviser, Service Lead and Contract Manager. She has provided leadership for the Regional Nurse Advisers ensuring best practice, implementation of National Guidance and Clinical Governance. Ms. Hall has worked with Baywater Healthcare since 2013, with leadership responsibility in delivering Home Oxygen and Long-Term Conditions services. Her clinical team focuses on delivering services closer to home which offer the NHS value with optimum clinical outcomes. Previously, Ms. Hall provided leadership to Regional Nurse Advisors with Air Products, a company providing home oxygen services to Wales, East Midlands and North London. She has served as a Senior COPD National Trainer and Nurse Adviser COPD Response with Innovex, ensuring highest competencies were maintained and best practices delivered. Ms. Hall has a Ba Honours Degree as a Registered General Nurse from Oxford Brookes University and MSc Health Studies from Staffordshire University. She completed Respiratory Education and Training Courses and the Edinburgh Sleep Course. Jenny Hall’s LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenny-hall-34331b60/

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