Several published research results (see references below) now confirm that good sleep is also an important factor to lose weight easier. To prevent sleep apnea (also written apnoea) which causes sleep to be interrupted and makes deep sleep impossible, is not only required to wake up with more energy but also to maintain healthy body mass.
Every sleep apnea incident leads to lack of enough oxygen. Frequent incidents of wakening or almost wakening are then inevitable. Gasps for air after long apnea incidents follow.
About one fifth of the population suffers from sleep apnea. The majority of them is still not diagnosed or even aware of the problem but suffers from fatigue and is subject to many other health risks.
In the case of insomnia it is difficult to fall asleep or remain asleep for long enough. About one third of people suffers from insomnia to some degree. Insomnia or inability to fall asleep and stay asleep can have many causes. Treatment can be anything from advice on good ‘sleep hygiene’ or medication prescribed by your doctor.
Both conditions have predictable but also surprising side-effects like weight gain and difficulty to shed the unwanted extra mass. They are associated with health problems and increased risk of illness. That is on top of lack of energy, always being tired and bad quality of life.
Do not neglect sleep problems. Help is available! Talk to your doctor of someone focusing on improving sleep.
The problems caused by bad quality sleep last around the clock. It includes fatigue, inability to concentrate, bad moods, sleepiness. It is also associated with diabetes, anxiety, hypertension, heart disease and depression. Falling asleep at work or while driving can have dire consequences.
To add preventable weight gain and obesity on top of this, just multiplies the problem.
Lack of good sleep does not only cause you to appear older than you are and inhibits immunity. Enough good deep sleep promotes recovery of cells and general health as well as better immunity. (See publications 4, 5 and 7 below.)
It also leads to higher craving for food – especially fatty and sweet foods.. Some of the causes are increased stress hormones and cortisol and chronic fatigue, which together with extra fat in the belly area lead to lower levels of physical activity. (See academic articles 1, 2 and 3 below for more info.)
This then just goes from bad to worse in a vicious circle. (You can read more about hormonal changes due to bad sleep in the references listed below.)
To get enough oxygen uninterrupted with an open airway while you sleep, is one of the essential requirements for good healthy sleep. Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) devices can ensure an open airway while you sleep by preventing obstructive sleep apnea and snoring.
CPAP equipment provides a small amount of continuous extra pressure – typically 1% of atmospheric pressure – which can keep an airway open, even if it tends to become obstructed when muscles relaxes when one falls asleep. This on its own can immediately make a huge difference to improve quality of sleep for proper rest and prevent snoring.
The ability to lose weight with less effort, is a free perk of being treated to prevent obstructive sleep apnea incidents by using a CPAP device. Without snoring the person living with you get a huge benefit to their quality of life and often also better sleep. Prevent apnea and / or treat insomnia and you will not only feel more alive and awake with more energy, but also better motivated and easier able to shed that unwanted fat!
Sleep disorders can be successfully addressed. It is worthwhile! (Refer for more detail to reference 6.) If you need help with identifying other causes and get solutions for insomnia due to other causes than apnea, talk to Jan-Daniel Uys at Arkel Sleep Health Clinic or your doctor. If possible it is best to avoid sleep pills.
Do not ignore snoring and sleep apnea. Proper CPAP treatment can just be the missing link to help you take a lot of weight from your shoulders by helping you to get rid of several kilograms of unwanted body mass!
1. Hargens TA, Kaleth AS, Edwards ES, Buner KL. Association between sleep disorders, obesity, and exercise: a review. Nat Sci Sleep 2013;5:27-35
2. Taheri S, Lin L, Austin D, Young T, Mignot E. Short Sleep Duration Is Associated with Reduced Leptin, Elevated Ghrelin, and Increased Body Mass Index. PLos Med 2004;4(3):e62.
3. Patel SR, Hu FB. Short sleep duration and weight gain: a systematic review. Obesity 2008;16(3):643-653.
4. Savard J, Laroche L, Simard S, Ivers H, Morin CM. Chronic Insomnia and Immune Functioning. Psychosomat Med 2013;65:211-221.
5. Besedovsky L, Lange T, Born J. Sleep and immune function. Pflugers Arch Eur J Physiol 2012;463:121-137.
6. Wilson SJ, Nutt DJ, Alford C, Argyropoulos SV, Baldwin DS, Bateson AN, et al. British Association for Psychopharmacology concensus statement on evidence-based treatment of insomnia, parasomnias and circadian rhythm disorders. J Psychopharmacol 2010;24(11):1577-1600.
7. Irwin M, Mcclintick J, Costlow C, Fortner M, White J, Gillin JC. Partial night sleep deprivation reduces natural killer and cellular immune responses in humans . FASEB J 1996;10:643-653.
8. Slowik J, Collen JF: Obstructive Sleep Apnea, 2021, StatPearls Publishing LLC.