Weight Loss

Sleep Apnoea and Obesity

It is well known that obesity is a major risk factor for sleep apnoea, but the relationship between weight and sleep is a little more complicated.

Lack of sleep, on its own, can also result in weight gain. Studies show that men who sleep five or less hours a night are twice as likely to experience weight gain as those who sleep seven to eight hours a night. As a result, the whole weight and sleep issue becomes a vicious cycle. Obesity exacerbates sleep apnoea, exacerbate each other. Obesity causes sleep apnoea, which in turn leads to more weight gain.

Lack of sleep also increases appetite. It does this by decreasing the level leptin hormone. Leptin is released into the blood stream after eating a meal. It is the hormone that creates a feeling of satiety and stops further eating. When the leptin levels are low, hunger increases.

It is important to remember that obstructive sleep apnoea can also occur in people who are not overweight or obese. However, obesity - especially obesity around the abdomen and neck – is a significant contributor to most cases.