Does weight loss reduce snoring? It definitely can. If you are tired of sounding like a foghorn or sleeping next to one, losing weight can help cut down on the racket. In this post we’re going to explore how sleep promotes weight loss, the side effects, common causes, and how to cut down on snoring.
Sleep Promotes Weight Loss
In the 2017 article, ‘Sleep loss affects your waistline,’ published on ScienceDaily.com, researchers explain how, “Sleep loss increases the risk of obesity through a combination of effects on energy metabolism.” The article not only points to sleep loss and how it affects appetite, but how it impacts the body’s response to food and exercise.
Unfortunately, in today’s fast-paced and tech-dominated environment, more Americans than, ever are suffering from sleep deprivation. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “more than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.” Furthermore, the CDC reports that 70.7% of adults 20-years-old and older suffer from being overweight or obese.
Snoring Decreases Sleep Quality
One of the culprits of poor sleep for many individuals is snoring. In 2010, Nimrod Maimon, M.D. and Patrick J. Hanly, M.D. evaluated the impact the intensity of snoring has on sleep quality. Their article, ‘Does Snoring Intensity Correlate with the Severity of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?’ originally published by American Academy of Sleep Medicine showed a direct correlation between the intensity of snoring and the occurrence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
6 Common Causes of Snoring
Snoring occurs when air can’t easily pass through your nose or throat while you sleep. As the body struggles to pull air in and push it out, the surrounding tissues vibrate. This produces the loud noises associated with snoring.
There are a variety of reasons someone may snore, some can be more detrimental to your long-term health than others. These reasons may include:
- Age – As we reach middle age, our throats naturally narrow. The muscle tone in our throat begins to decrease. And, the occurrence of snoring often becomes more frequent. The bad news is there’s nothing we can do to turn back (or stop) the clock. The good news is, there are exercises and lifestyle modifications that can help. (More to come on this.)
- Genetics – Some individuals naturally have narrower air passages. That’s just the way they were built. This is more common among men, though it can also be the case for women. Snoring can also be a side effect of other physical attributes, like a cleft palate or enlarged adenoids.
- Posture – How you sleep can also promote snoring. Postures, like laying flat on your back, can often increase the occurrence. By changing your position, such as raising your head or sleeping on your side, you may be able to reduce how often you snore or stop snoring all together.
- Nasal Issues – Those who suffer from nasal or sinus issues could be at greater risk of snoring. Some may suffer from this year-round. Others may be affected seasonally, as they battle allergies.
- Weight – Excess body weight can contribute to snoring. Even those who aren’t obese may carry excess fatty tissue around their neck and throat, which can cause snoring.
- Alcohol & Smoking – Alcohol and smoking have also been linked to snoring, as they can relax the muscles around your nasal passage.
The Link Between Snoring and Weight Loss
The strong link between snoring and weight loss shows us the power of both sleep and maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI). Yet, not addressing your snoring and weight issues could have a bigger impact than just fitting in your favorite pair of jeans.
The study, ‘Snoring as a Risk Factor for Type II Diabetes Mellitus: A Prospective Study,’ published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found “snoring was associated with risk of diabetes.” Furthermore, it can:
- Put you at risk of suffering a stroke.
- Lead to increased blood pressure and heart disease.
- Exacerbate your Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
- Increase symptoms of depression.
- Cause headaches.
- Reduce your sexual satisfaction.
- Drive a serious wedge between you and your partner.
7 Ways to Put Snoring to Rest
As mentioned briefly above, you aren’t without recourse. Lifestyle changes and exercises can help reduce or eliminate the occurrence of snoring. The following are seven of the most successful remedies:
- Lose Weight – Excess weight is one of the most common causes of snoring. Shedding those extra pounds can remove the fatty tissue around your neck, helping to allow the air to move freely.
- Change Your Sleeping Position – Try elevating your head a few inches to make breathing easier. This can also encourage your tongue and jaw to move forward, allowing the nasal passage to increase in size.
- Clean Your Nasal Passage – Those suffering from a stuffy nose may benefit from rinsing their sinuses with a saline solution. Nasal decongestant can also help.
- Stop Smoking – Smoking doesn’t just put you at risk of lung, mouth, and throat cancer – it irritates the membranes in your nose and throat. This can cause your airways to be blocked, inducing you to snore.
- Avoid Alcohol –Alcohol causes the body’s muscles to relax. This includes the muscles in your throat, which can interfere with breathing.
- Exercise – Not only does exercise promote weight loss, it strengthens your muscles. This is especially true of your airways, which are asked to work harder during exercise to provide extra oxygen to muscles when they are stressed.
- Throat Exercises – Repeat each vowel (A-E-I-O-U) out load for five minutes each day. This helps to work all the muscles within your throat.
Lose Snoring. Lose Weight. Love Life.
Let’s make no bones about it. Losing weight is tough work – especially if you are trying to do it all on your own. In order to lose weight and keep it off, you need to find lifestyle changes that work for you.
Through our Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program, your Naturopathic Doctor works closely with you to give you the support and guidance you need for long-term success. Each program is carefully tailored to your unique needs. We help see the results you want fast, so you can focus on loving life.
Additional Weight Loss Tips
Smart selection of foods in your diet can help you to avoid gaining belly fat. Learn more about some healthy choices here.
You don’t need invasive surgery or toxic chemicals to feel great. These health paleo-vegan recipes are as delicious as they are good for you.
It’s basic biochemistry; when the body has its building blocks, it works better. Vitamin IV Drips give your body its building blocks.
Enjoy this Article? Let's Keep them Coming.
Make your health a priority. Get our latest updates sent to your inbox.
Naturopathic health care with compassionate integrative doctors who understand your unique medical needs.