Are you a snorer? Do you ever stop and think the reason why you are snoring could be a weight problem? Excess weight is often linked with snoring. Those who snore are often suggested to lose weight; and no, we are not just talking about being obese, even an extra 20 pounds can really affect our body in ways we don’t realize, especially if you have a small frame.
Above all, the downside of being overweight is you are at a higher risk of both snoring and sleep apnea (which is a disorder where one stops breathing unknowingly throughout their sleep).
So let’s start off with the basics — Why do we snore to begin with?
Our airway muscles begin to relax naturally when we are sleeping. People who suffer from snoring, their airway muscles tend to relax more that when they breath in, they are very close together allowing them to vibrate as airway moves through. Sleep apnea sufferers, theirs close completely.
So why would weight gain take part of snoring? Well when you gain weight, you are essentially doing it all over again, including in your tongue which crowds the airway even more, and giving you a higher increase to snore as airways moves through the throat.
You are also not considering the fact that you are gaining more weight around your neck and throat area, which most people don’t realize these areas are a huge part of why you snore. Not only does weight gain give you extra chins, but it also pushes inward on your throat, which applies pressure to the inward of your airway. When we add additional pounds to our body, the tissues on our upper throat get softer.
And that only means that they are able to sag and flop around more (which partially fills the airways), as well as creating a narrower airway. And as if this isn’t enough, when you gain weight, your chest gets heavier, meaning your lungs have to work double or even triple the time used for inhalation.
When you experience disruption in sleep results in a variety of health issues. One of which is fatigue. It may seem that even if one snores throughout the night, they are getting the sleep they need; false. Instead, snoring is preventing them to getting into the deep sleep stage where mental and bodily restoration occur. Other factors include:
- Making poorer choices.
When you get restless sleep; you are more likely to make poorer decisions throughout the day, including, exercise and food choices. We are more likely to crave high-calorie, sugary, and fatty foods; because our body is running low on fumes, so we choose these foods to compensate and to give us that burst of energy needed.
- Burning less calories at night.
When you are a snorer or have sleep apnea, you are less likely to be in the deep, restorative stage called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. As a person who experiences either or will spend most of their time in the light stages of sleep instead. During REM sleep, your brain activity and calorie burn are at their highest. That’s when your body utilizes a lot of glucose and energy and also dreams during REM sleep.
- Less motivated or focused.
When we are interrupted in our sleep, we result in feeling tired during the day time, which makes it had for us to do the things we do to lose weight, exercise. Getting fewer hours of sleep can negatively affect factors like react in time and how hard a workout seems.
- Rocky relationship.
If you or your partner snores; you both will get no sleep and it can result in many problems in your relationship. One including, having to sleep in the other room due to snoring problem.
Other health issues from sleep deprivation can also include:
- Metabolic Syndromes
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Increased Blood Pressure
If you are a snorer or believe you have sleep apnea, consult with your doctor as soon as possible.
Losing weight should not be looked as a monumental task that you are being forced to do. When you lose weight, it’s necessary to stay positive and motivated throughout your weight loss journey. It should be a lifestyle choice and not a temporary short-term task. Below are some tips on how to lose weight so that you and your partner can finally have a piece of mind.
- Eat a high-protein breakfast.
Eating a high-protein breakfast daily can help reduce those pesky cravings and calorie intake throughout the day.
- Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day.
Are you staying hydrated throughout the day? It’s essential you are drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. Drink a full glass of water before a meal; you’ll definitely feel less hungry and will eat less. Studies have shown that drinking water a half hour before meals increased weight loss by 44%.
- Surround yourself with positive and supportive people.
We are who we hang out with; have you heard of that saying before? When you surround yourself with likeminded healthy and motivating people, it will really make a difference. You’ll be more likely to want to eat healthy and/or exercise as well – and people who support you, will always support your decisions, making it easier to continue your weight loss journey.
- Avoid sugary drinks and foods.
Try your best to avoid these types of food; if you must though, choose healthier fat alternatives such as avocado, nuts, etc.
- Eat more often.
You’re probably thinking what? Rather than eating three large meals a day, try snacking on five or six small meals instead. By doing this your metabolism constantly stays active and burning calories. Eating larger meals a day causes a higher chance of some getting stored as fat, and you are more likely to binge eat on unhealthy food between meals.
- Choose an exercise you love.
Instead of forcing yourself to the gym and dreading that treadmill every day; figure out an exercise you most enjoy doing. It can be taking a walk around the lake, taking dance classes, cycling, playing a sport, or swimming; these are all great ways of burning off those calories. There are way more fun ways to exercise than one may think.
- Get plenty of sleep.
Lastly, incorporate more sleep! Because of the reasons above, sleep is important. If you want more information on how to help your snoring, please consult with you doctor. Wearing a quality snoring mouthpiece is also an option to ensure you feel rested the next day.
Author: Usman Raza is a freelance writer, marketing specialist at Snoring Aids and co-founder of Usman Digital Media. When not working, he’s probably spending time with his family. Follow him on Facebook @usmanraza40 and Twitter @usmanintrotech.