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Could snoring cause you to gain weight?

Snoring and weight gain? How can they possibly be related? Surprisingly or not, snoring may be attributed to obesity, yet at the same time obesity may be attributed to snoring. Wait what? Okay, let me explain.

Obesity is linked to snoring and sleep apnea

Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of greater than or equal to 30. An increase in neck circumference through centripetal obesity results in a narrower airway leading to turbulent airflow in your throat. That turbulent airflow produces the sound that we call snoring. Additionally, increased fat deposits and a reduction in muscle tone results in your soft palate and other tissues in your pharynx (throat) to become floppy. A floppy soft palate also produces the characteristic sounds of snoring.

Additionally, an increase in neck circumference and obesity are associated with obstructive sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder. Obstructive sleep apnea is characterized by a blockage in the airway during sleep disrupting your night of sleep leaving you feeling fatigued and at risk for several medical conditions including cardiovascular disease.

Snoring and obesity: can snoring cause obesity?

I know we said above that snoring may result from obesity or weight gain, but we can also fairly attribute obesity to snoring. What? Yes, you read that right. Snoring and other sleep disorders disrupt your sleep resulting in you losing the restorative aspects of sleep. After a night of snoring, you may feel tired, fatigued and enervated. Studies have indicated that sleep deprivation may be linked to increased hunger. If your body is not receiving the energy it needs from a night of sleep, it may turn to other energy resources such as food.

So what does this all mean?

If you snore and you are overweight, losing weight may help stop you from snoring. However, determining the underlying etiology for your snoring is important. If you suffer from daily fatigue, you may have an underlying sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea which can be diagnosed by your physician.

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