SNORING AND OBESITY

Published: 11th September 2009
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Snoring occurs because of an obstruction in the airway during sleep. These obstructions can be caused by poor muscle tone or overly relaxed neck muscles which sag out of place, forcing the air to vibrate through the airway. Congestion caused by illnesses or allergies can also create enough temporary blockage and cause snoring. Even enlarged adenoids or tonsils and other physical problems which cause bulky throat tissue can partially block the passageway. Some of these ailments can be helped by eliminating alcohol and smoking, changing medications, or using sleep aids such as Breath-Lift Nasal Strips or the Better Sleep Pillow. Even losing weight can reduce help reduce snoring.

Snoring and obesity often share the same bed. In fact, they are so commonly linked that some studies report more than 70 percent of all snorers are overweight! Often, one of the first things doctors will tell a patient to do who struggles with snoring is lose weight. Even a ten-percent weight loss can drastically reduce snoring and its ill effects.

But snoring can also cause weight gain, and that amazing factor is also worth understanding.

For more information on obesity and snoring, check out these two articles-"How Weight Increases Snoring" and also "How Snoring Increases Weight".



HOW WEIGHT INCREASES SNORING.

There are various reasons excess body weight increases the risk of snoring. The most common reason is that people who are overweight have thicker necks. When they gain weight they also gain it in the neck area and that extra bulkiness in the throat constricts the airway and makes it more difficult to breathe, both day and night. At night the constriction increases the likelihood of snoring by as much as six times! To help increase airflow to constricted airways, sleep aids such as the Breathe-Lift Nasal Strip, may help.



Overweight people also tend to lose muscle tone, even in their neck. At night these loose muscles are likely to sag and cause airway obstructions. The result is more snoring. The Better Sleep Pillow can help hold the head and neck in better position and reduce snoring.

Even the diet of an overweight person can contribute to snoring. Overweight people often consume a lot of dairy products which can coat the back of the throat with mucus and cause a blockage. Too much carbonation or caffeine in the diet can also irritate throat tissues and cause swelling and inflammation.

Because there is a definite connection between being overweight and snoring, doctors also know there is usually a reduction in snoring when weight is reduced. So talk to your doctor about losing weight and reducing snoring. For others ideas, see "Ways to Reduce or Eliminate Snoring".





HOW SNORING INCREASES WEIGHT

While diet and lifestyle do affect how much we weigh, doctors also know that other factors can affect our weight. One of those is snoring.

Every year researchers understand more clearly how snoring directly affects the quality of sleep and how that affects the way our bodies handle weight.

Whenever we wake up, the level of cortisol in our system increases. Cortisol's job is to raise our blood sugar levels and help our body produce the energy we need to get out of bed and start the day. Cortisol also increases our hunger so that we will 'fuel' our bodies with food to get them moving. So our body doesn't use its energy elsewhere at this critical point, cortisol shuts off the fat-burning gene.



In short, when we have cortisol in our system we feel hungry, don't burn fat as effectively and experience higher levels of sugar in our system. This is important at the start of the day but can cause problems if it happens when we are supposed to be sleeping.



Snoring frequently wakes the snorer and their partner from deep and restive sleep patterns. The body senses each of these wakings and produces cortisol to prepare it for rising. Having cortisol pumped into your system while trying to sleep is like keeping your foot on the brake of your car while revving the engine with your other foot. Eventually healthy muscles wear down and digestion and metabolism are impaired.



Because of excess cortisol in their system, people who continue to have poor sleep patterns on a regular basis do not burn fat as effectively and experience hunger even when they have an adequate amount of food. The results lead to weight gain, especially abdominal weight. Excess cortisol causes cravings for high-energy foods filled with fats, sugars and carbohydrates. On mornings when snoring has raised cortisol levels extra high, suffers may honestly crave a doughnut for breakfast instead of something healthier.



Too much cortisol also causes elevated levels of blood sugar in the system which can lead to insulin resistance and trigger more serious health problems including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Being overweight increases the likelihood that you will snore, but snoring also increases the chance that you will gain weight. Because snoring and obesity seem to share the same bed so often, it is best to seek the advice of a doctor if you or your partner struggle with snoring, excess weight or both.



Getting a deep, quiet night's sleep is good for your health and your weight. In the meantime, sleep aids such as the Breathe-Lift Nasal Strips and the Better Sleep Pillow may help. They are not meant to replace a doctor's advice but they can aid in opening air passages and better position your head and neck for less obstructed breathing.







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