does being overweight make you snore

Does being overweight make you snore?

July 20. 2022

Snoring is a frequent topic of jokes, but is it actually a funny and harmless phenomenon? Not only is it a nuisance to one’s bed partner, but snoring also significantly reduces the quality of sleep of the snorer, which can cause adverse long-term health effects. It is also frequently attributed to overweight people, so is there a connection between weight gain and snoring? Does being overweight make you snore? Although everyone occasionally snores, it appears that overweight people are more likely to do so. That can negatively impact their health and hinder their efforts to lose weight. So in this article, Chicago’s best weight loss expert explains what causes snoring, how to treat it, and how it is linked to being overweight.

What causes snoring?

Getting adequate sleep is essential for good health. That includes not only sleeping enough hours but also having a good quality of sleep. If your sleep is shallow and interrupted, you may wake up tired even if you have slept for some 7 to 8 hours. If you sleep poorly over a more extended period of time, that can have a devastating effect on your health. Many serious health problems are linked to chronic sleep deprivation, including high blood pressure, risk of heart disease and diabetes, poor memory, poor focus and concentration, mood swings, and especially weight gain. So how does snoring affect your sleep?

As you breathe, air flows past the relaxed tissues in your throat, causing them to vibrate. That creates a harsh sound we commonly know as snoring. It can occasionally happen to everyone, as there are numerous factors causing people to snore. If it only happens once in a while, it doesn’t present much of a problem, but if it persists, it may lead to a disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea. That may not necessarily happen to everyone who snores, but there is always a potential risk if you snore frequently. If you experience any of the following symptoms, it is highly advised that you consult a doctor:

  • restless sleep
  • pauses in breathing during sleep
  • choking during sleep
  • chest pain at night
  • waking up with a headache
  • waking up with a sore throat
  • sleepiness during the day (even if you have slept enough hours)
  • high blood pressure

Obstructive sleep apnea is characterized by cyclical shifts of snoring followed by breathing pauses. Usually, after loud, harsh snoring, your breathing will stop or become extremely reduced to the point that it causes your to wake up gasping for air. That may repeat many times during the night, even up to five times within one hour. Although you will most likely not remember any of that in the morning, you will feel the effects of snoring and sleep apnea. You will wake up exhausted, feeling as if you have slept very little.

So what are the factors that will make you more likely to snore? As you fall into deeper sleep, all of the muscles in your body will progressively relax, including your neck muscles. The more loose the tissue is, the more will it obstruct airflow. Anything that narrows your airway and causes your neck muscles to relax further will contribute to snoring.

Obesity

So, does being overweight make you snore? That’s the essential question that will be explained in a separate paragraph.

Sleeping position

You are more likely to snore when you sleep on your back for the simple reason that gravity puts more strain on your airways. It is best to avoid sleeping on your back and sleep on your side instead.

Nasal problems

Various nasal problems such as polyps or a deviated septum can contribute to snoring. Allergies can cause snoring as well, as your nasal passages become inflamed due to exposure to allergens.

Aging

As you age, all your body tissues lose the firmness that they once had in your youth. That doesn’t mean that young people don’t snore, but just that snoring becomes more prevalent at older ages. Older people snore simply more often. Women and men lose their estrogen and testosterone levels, respectively, which are the hormones that keep muscles toned. In addition to that, older people tend to take a lot of medications, some of which can have a sedative effect and contribute to more tissue relaxation.

Alcohol

Alcohol is a depressant, which means that it slows down your nervous system. That affects not only your consciousness but also your whole body. Alcohol relaxes all of your muscles, including your neck muscles. So drinking before bedtime can definitely make you more likely to snore.

Heredity

When it comes to obstructive sleep apnea, heredity can play a certain role. So if you have a history of snoring and sleep apnea in your family, you may be slightly more at risk. However, life choices play a much more significant part.

Is there a link between excess weight and snoring?

Now let’s focus on the question of does being overweight make you snore. Simply put – yes, it does. Overweight people have more narrowed airways due to increased neck fat, especially when they lay on their back, which adds extra pressure to their airways. The more narrowed your airway, the more you have to force your breath to pass through it, which creates more friction and louder snoring. Furthermore, the more frequently you snore, the more you risk developing sleep apnea. Hence, two out of three patients with obstructive sleep apnea are overweight. That is just one of the health risks of being overweight.

However, this is a two-way relationship. Weight gain and snoring are interchangeably linked. While snoring doesn’t directly cause weight gain, it reduces the quality of your sleep, which is an essential factor for weight gain. Without proper, nourishing sleep, you will be more prone to give in to food cravings and feel discouraged to exercise. Your overall focus and determination will be drastically reduced. You might turn to sugary drinks and high-calory, nutrient-depleted foods to keep your energy levels during the day. All of those things contribute to weight gain. So, snoring makes you tired and sleep deprived, which makes you turn towards unhealthy habits, which makes you gain weight, which ultimately causes you to snore more often. That’s how the circle closes.

Therefore, losing weight is essential to break away from the vicious circle. Needless to say, there are numerous health risks of being overweight. Snoring, sleep, fatigue, stress, high blood pressure, and heart problems – are all closely connected and interchangeably linked. One pulls down the other. So losing weight will have tremendous effects on your sleep. Medical practice shows that losing only about 10% of your body weight reduces your snoring and improves your sleep. That is not hard to do. A good meal plan and a bit of effort will do it. For a more significant weight loss, lipo C injections are highly recommended for aiding you in the process. Also, in case you reach a plateau in your weight loss progress, as it happens sometimes, taking a supplement such as Chromium Picolinate can effectively help you overcome it and keep moving forward. Studies have shown impressive benefits of Chromium Picolinate for weight loss.

How to effectively treat snoring

So what can you do to reduce snoring? First and foremost, losing weight is the number one remedy for snoring. We have just explained the “does being overweight make you snore” dilemma, so the relationship between those two is complicated and tends to form a vicious circle. The only way to break out of it is to lose weight. In addition to that, there are a few more steps that you can take to avoid snoring and improve your sleep.

  • Avoid alcohol before bedtime.
  • Avoid sleeping on your back.
  • Sleep regularly and get enough hours of sleep.
  • Treat any nasal problems.
  • Keep the pillow and sheets clean.
  • Stay well hydrated.

In addition to this, especially if you have obstructive sleep apnea, you may consider a specialized therapy such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which uses mild air pressure to keep your airway open while you sleep.

Final thoughts

Does being overweight make you snore? It does, and so does snoring make you gain weight. Overweight people are more prone to snoring due to neck fat contracting their airways. They are also at a higher risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. In this disorder, snoring is followed by a severe reduction in breathing, choking, and gasping for air. That can repeat many times during the night and even within each hour. Snoring greatly reduces the quality of your sleep. Chronically tired, you are more likely to eat unhealthy food to stay focused and less likely to exercise, which will cause you to gain weight. Losing weight is the primary way to reduce snoring and break away from the vicious circle. If you’d like to find out more about preventing snoring and losing weight, schedule a call, and we will gladly answer any questions you have.

Nurse Walton

Author

Nurse Walton

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Chanay received her Practical Nurse licensure and went to work in clinical specialties such as Home Health, Assisted Living, Long-Term Care and Dialysis Centers. Through this work, she realized the importance of diet, nutrition and weight loss among her patients. This led her to open A Better Weigh, Inc. Medical Weight Loss Center in 2009.

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