Your Weight and Your Sleep

Being overweight or obese has negative effects on your entire body. Not only does being overweight affect your health and your ability to perform day to day tasks, but being overweight or obese can negatively affect your sleep. How much weight you carry on your body affects how your body performs. An excess amount of weight puts more pressure on your heart, your lungs, your veins, your extremities, and your organs throughout the day and night.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious disorder that affects approximately 18 million Americans. This disorder results in decreased oxygen in the blood and can briefly awaken people repeatedly during the night. The most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea in adults is excess weight and obesity. Excess weight affects the soft tissues of the entire body. When this excess is at the mouth and throat, it has negative effects on breathing. During sleep, the throat and tongue muscles are more relaxed. For those who are overweight or obese, excess soft tissue at the mouth and throat can cause the airway to become blocked.

Body mass index (BMI), of healthy adults is considered to be within the range of 18 – 24. A BMI of 25 -29.9 is considered to be overweight, and a BMI of 30 or above is considered as obese. In adults, excess weight is the strongest risk factor associated with obstructive sleep apnea. Each unit increase in BMI is associated with a 14% increased risk of developing sleep apnea, and a 10% weight gain increases the odds of developing moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea by six times. 

Managing your weight is essential for preventing and treating sleep apnea, as well as promoting optimal health throughout your life. Not everyone is going to be a Size 4 and 120 pounds, and that is perfectly fine. However, only you have control over your health. If your weight is negatively affecting your sleep and/or causing your sleep apnea symptoms, it is important that you get a handle on your weight. At Georgia Dental Sleep Disorders, we want all of our patients to live long, healthy lives. Call us today to schedule an appointment.  


Posted on Behalf of Georgia Dental Sleep Disorders