What To Know About Obesity-Related Sleep Disorders

What To Know About Obesity-Related Sleep Disorders

What To Know About Obesity-Related Sleep Disorders

A controlled weight is important when it comes to maintaining a lifestyle that’s healthy and well-rounded. A high body mass index (BMI) can lead to obesity, and obesity can lead to an increased risk of certain sleep disorders, many of which can become a snowball effect if bodyweight is not looked after.  

Here are just some of the obesity-related sleep disorders and what you need to know about them:

Sleep Apnea

Excess weight in children and adults can greatly increase the risk of developing serious obstructive sleep apnea.1 Sleep apnea is a disorder where breathing is continually interrupted during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs due to the throat’s airway being blocked, and can cause low oxygen levels in addition to disjointed sleep.2

Those considered to be obese are at a much higher risk of developing sleep apnea. This is because fat accumulation of the airway’s tissue has an increased risk of collapsibility at a higher bodyweight, reducing the airway’s ability to get air to the rest of your body.3

Type II Diabetes

Disorders like sleep apnea can also lead to an increased risk of diabetes in obese bodies. Both sleep apnea and obesity affect the body’s insulin levels and can turn into something much more serious if untreated.

Chronic sleep deprivation due to a disorder like sleep apnea increases the body’s blood sugar level. Overtime, this repeated message to your nervous system signals to your body to start releasing stress hormones, which can lead to hormones doing things like releasing stored glucose to the liver or causing your body to become insulin resistant, thus increasing the risk for diabetes.4  

Hypertension And Inflammation

Sleep deprivation has also been known to see an increase in hypertension and inflammation in the body, which is typically exacerbated by other obesity-related sleep disorders like sleep apnea.

In addition to blocking the throat’s airways and potentially causing the body to become insulin resistant, excess weight increases the likelihood of hypertension and inflammation due to fat accumulation and distribution happening near the kidneys or an increase in nervous system activity (like the body’s ability to regulate hormones).5

Hypertension and inflammation can lead to an increased risk of a heart attack, as well as other life-altering cardiovascular and metabolic ailments, like diabetes.

Steps To Prevention

As you can see, our weight handles much of our body’s ability to react to an environment, including its own. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re maintaining a healthy weight through smart diet, exercise, and sleep. Without these things, obesity-related sleep disorders can become only part of the health problem when trying to combat the effects of obesity.

If you believe you’re at risk of one of these sleep-related disorders, consult your primary care physician. Starting an open, judgment-free conversation regarding your weight may not only help set you on the path to avoiding your risk to these ailments, it could also save your life. 

 For a list of incredibly effective ways to get a better night sleep, click here.... 




  1. https://www.sleepapnea.org/weight-matters-obesity-and-sleep-apnea/
  2. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-apnea
  3. https://obesitymedicine.org/obesity-and-sleep-apnea/
  4. https://www.everydayhealth.com/type-2-diabetes/living-with/sleep-apnea-connection/
  5. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/circresaha.116.305697




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