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Does Sleep Apnea Cause Weight Gain?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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Does sleep apnea cause weight gain? Anytime you get a lack of sleep it can make you hungrier for longer periods of time. And the result is you will eat more calories which leads to weight gain. So, sleep apnea unfortunately isn’t conducive to losing weight. A lack of sleep also leads to a lack of energy which can affect your ability to exercise and move.

People who are obese tend to have a high amount of leptin. Research has shown that people who have a high amount of leptin have a high sleep apnea. Leptin is the hormone that stimulates a huge appetite and increases food intake. People who have sleep apnea can have 50% more of this leptin hormone compared to those who don’t.

Does sleep apnea cause weight gain? Photo credit: iStock-Prostock-studio

Your ghrelin hormone can be influenced by a lack of sleep or sleep apnea. And ghrelin is what makes you feel hungry.

The older you get the higher risk you have for sleep apnea.

Some of the countries that have the highest sleep apnea are:

  • United States
  • China
  • Brazil
  • India

Research Studies relationship between sleep apnea and weight gain.

A 2008 study found that fifty eight percent of people who have moderate to severe apnea occur in people who are either overweight or obese. A 2017 study showed that a change in bodyweight was proportional to sleep disordered breathing. The less overweight people experienced minimal sleep apnea issues.

Sleep Apnea and obesity can put you at a higher risk of stroke, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc.

Research has shown that people who get less than 7 hours of sleep a day tend to eat more calories and food. And this increase in overall calories can lead to weight gain.

The American Thoracic society recommends losing 5 to 10% of your bodyweight to help sleep apnea if you are overweight or obese.

How much you weigh will influence sleep apnea. And some of things you can do to lose weight are:

  • Exercise regularly for at least 3 days minimally with cardiovascular and weight-training.
  • Eat healthy by consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, quality proteins and healthy fats.
  • Minimize alcohol use
  • Make sure your diet is a low-calorie nutrient dense diet.
  • Stop smoking

“Research has shown that people who get less than 7 hours of sleep a day tend to eat more calories and food. And this increase in overall calories can lead to weight gain.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike

The Bottom Line is sleep apnea will always influence weight gain. The less sleep you get the hungrier you will be and the more calories and food you will probably eat. Studies have shown that sleep apnea is proportional to your body weight.

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References

  1. Jehan S, Zizi F, Pandi-Perumal SR, Wall S, Auguste E, Myers AK, Jean-Louis G, McFarlane SI. Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Obesity: Implications for Public Health. Sleep Med Disord. 2017;1(4):00019. Epub 2017 Dec 12. PMID: 29517065; PMCID: PMC5836788.
  2. Jehan S, Zizi F, Pandi-Perumal SR, Wall S, Auguste E, Myers AK, Jean-Louis G, McFarlane SI. Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Obesity: Implications for Public Health. Sleep Med Disord. 2017;1(4):00019. Epub 2017 Dec 12. PMID: 29517065; PMCID: PMC5836788.
  3. Punjabi NM. The epidemiology of adult obstructive sleep apnea. Proc Am Thorac Soc. 2008 Feb 15;5(2):136-43. doi: 10.1513/pats.200709-155MG. PMID: 18250205; PMCID: PMC2645248.
  4. Jehan S, Zizi F, Pandi-Perumal SR, Wall S, Auguste E, Myers AK, Jean-Louis G, McFarlane SI. Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Obesity: Implications for Public Health. Sleep Med Disord. 2017;1(4):00019. Epub 2017 Dec 12. PMID: 29517065; PMCID: PMC5836788.
  5. Franklin KA, Lindberg E. Obstructive sleep apnea is a common disorder in the population-a review on the epidemiology of sleep apnea. J Thorac Dis. 2015 Aug;7(8):1311-22. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2015.06.11. PMID: 26380759; PMCID: PMC4561280.
  6. American Thoracic Society- https://www.thoracic.org/patients/patient-resources/resources/weight-loss-and-sleep-apnea.pdf

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