Does Weight Fluctuation Affect the Risk of Sleep Apnea?

People can gain weight for a variety of reasons, including pregnancy, medications, sudden change in activity level caused by an injury, mental health issues, and much more. It is natural for someone’s weight to fluctuate. The unfortunate reality is that 70% of those that have sleep apnea are obese, so if you gain weight and fall into that category, your chances for being diagnosed with sleep apnea go up exponentially. Below we will explore further how both weight gain and weight loss affect sleep apnea, as well as outline some treatment options. 

How Weight Affects Sleep Apnea

If you have gained weight and those around you notice that you have started to snore when you previously did not, or if you start to have trouble sleeping, you may have developed sleep apnea. Left untreated, sleep disorders can lead to increased risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and motor vehicle accidents. Obesity is a major risk factor for the development and progression of sleep apnea. The good news is that it is also the only truly reversible risk factor. Although losing weight is a lot easier said than done, it can provide real results. If overweight and obese individuals lose weight, it can make both sleep apnea and other health problems, such as heart disease, go away. Losing just 10% of body weight can have a big effect on sleep apnea symptoms. In some cases, losing a significant amount of weight can even cure the condition completely.

How to Treat Sleep Apnea

If you choose to lose weight to ease your sleep apnea, there will realistically still be a time frame where you need sleep apnea treatment. Losing weight takes real lifestyle changes and for it to truly stick it is best to do it slowly and responsibly. Because of this, it is important to get sleep apnea treatment while you are in the process of losing weight. Overnight sleep studies and home sleep testing are offered at Whitney Sleep Center to confirm that you have sleep apnea. Once you have been diagnosed, the experts at Whitney Sleep can also help you with treatment options. A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is the most common and most reliable method for treating sleep apnea.

Whitney Sleep Center is Here to Help

As we have stated in this article, weight fluctuation is normal but sleep apnea shouldn’t be. You deserve to feel your best and get a great night’s sleep. That will only happen with sleep apnea treatment. If you’re having trouble sleeping, see a sleep specialist: schedule a visit to be evaluated at Whitney Sleep. We encourage you to set up an appointment at one of our locations. We promise to follow up post-appointment to manage sleep disorders. Take a step towards better sleep today: contact us at or visit our website.