February 11, 2022

Why Does Sleep Apnea Cause Weight Gain and How to Prevent Such Complications?

Why Does Sleep Apnea Cause Weight Gain and How to Prevent Such Complications?

BlueSleep patients often ask, “Does Sleep Apnea Cause Weight Gain?” Research shows that lack of sleep increases the hormone that stimulates hunger and decreases the hormone that inhibits hunger, so you eat more and gain weight.

Furthermore, to counteract being tired all the time, you consume sweets and sugary drinks with caffeine, thereby gaining more weight which has a direct link to sleep apnea. Weight gain generally occurs throughout the body, including the neck. Increased neck circumference narrows the airway when lying down, leading to sleep apnea. Overweight and obese patients have a higher risk of life-threatening problems like diabetes, stroke and heart attack.

The good news is that effective treatment, in addition to losing weight, can help prevent the complications of sleep apnea.  Many find oral appliances easier to use than CPAP. Our studies have confirmed that the compliance rate with oral appliances is very good.

If you think you’re at risk for sleep apnea, schedule an appointment with a BlueSleep Specialist to properly diagnose and treat your sleep apnea.

Here’s some topline clinical research:

Brief Communication: Sleep Curtailment in Healthy Young Men Is Associated with Decreased Leptin Levels, Elevated Ghrelin Levels, and Increased Hunger and Appetite

Short sleep duration in young, healthy men is associated with decreased leptin levels, increased ghrelin levels, and increased hunger and appetite.

The Danger of Uncontrolled Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea occurs in about 3 percent of normal weight individuals but affects over 20 percent of obese people: Johns Hopkins.

Insufficient Sleep Undermines Dietary Efforts to Reduce Adiposity

The amount of human sleep contributes to the maintenance of fat-free body mass at times of decreased energy intake. Lack of sufficient sleep may compromise the efficacy of typical dietary interventions for weight loss and related metabolic risk reduction.

Recent weight gain in patients with newly diagnosed obstructive sleep apnea

These findings support the concept that patients with obstructive sleep apnea may be susceptible to increasing obesity in the period preceding the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea.

Effect of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure on Weight and Local Adiposity in Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Meta-Analysis

The BMI increased significantly in patients with OSA after CPAP treatment, especially in those with CPAP use of ⩽5 h/night, without CVD and/or with dysglycemia at baseline. CPAP use of at least 5 h/night seems to be necessary in mitigating the risk for weight gain in patients with OSA.

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