It is commonly reported that people who are overweight or obese usually complain that they easily get tired most of the time, and they experience a hard time obtaining a restful sleep at night. There are a lot of different types of sleep disorders, however, there is one type of sleep disorder that can be indicative of a more severe condition, which is called sleep apnea. For obese people with sleep apnea, they usually find it hard to breathe at night, when they are sleeping. Sleep apnea is a serious condition that needs immediate medical care, since it can cause a person during his or her sleep to cease breathing completely, which usually lasts for a few seconds up to one minute.
Obesity is a major risk factor for sleep apnea.
Complications of Sleep Apnea:
Sleep apnea can cause a disrupted sleep, which results in fatigue, daytime sleepiness, headaches, depression, and memory loss. Aside from effects of disrupted sleep caused by sleep apnea, it has been related to more serious medical conditions, which include:
Heart Diseases – sleep apnea causes a drop of oxygen levels in the blood. Low oxygen levels can cause the heart to develop abnormal heart rhythms such as atrial fibrillation, which puts the person with sleep apnea at risk of developing heart diseases, or even Stroke.
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) – Sudden drops of oxygen levels in the blood caused by sleep apnea can cause an increase in blood pressure. Obstructive sleep apnea can increase the risk of a person to develop hypertension 2 to 3 times greater. The more severe the sleep apnea is the greater risk of developing hypertension.
Eye Problems – studies show that there is a connection between Glaucoma and Optic Nerve Swelling (Papilledema) and obstructive sleep apnea.
Obesity and Sleep Apnea:
One of the reasons why obesity is one of the most significant risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea is the accumulation of excess body fat on the neck and chest. Those body fats on the neck and chest can compress and constrict airways. As a person gets more overweight, the greater the risks of developing sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.
Management of Sleep Apnea associated with Obesity:
Among all people with sleep apnea, more than 95% are obese. There can be a lot of different ways to help in managing weight to improve sleep quality of sleep and relieve sleep apnea episodes, these include:
Start changing unhealthy foods, with healthy ones. Avoid foods high in carbohydrates and fats.
Start following a regular exercise routine. However, avoid exercising at night, since it can cause insomnia.