Losing weight may help relieve snoring and sleep apnea—in fact, losing just 10 percent of your body weight can make a significant difference with symptoms.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which your airway gets blocks while you’re asleep. The blockage interrupts your ability to breathe. In some patients, breathing can stop dozens of times a night. This lack of oxygen has serious consequences. Sleep apnea can cause headaches, insomnia, and tiredness. Many patients feel like they’re in a fog. The sleepiness people experience can make it difficult to be productive. It may even make it dangerous to drive or handle heavy equipment. Sleep apnea also increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, heart failure, and diabetes.
First things first, though. If you think you have sleep apnea, it’s important to have a care provider verify whether you have it. If you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea, the American College of Physicians recommends weight loss and CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines to treat it.
Weight loss can help. But, whether or not weight loss will cure sleep apnea depends on the amount of weight lost and on the individual. Other things can influence sleep apnea and snoring, including anatomical differences, whether someone has obesity or not.