Living with sleep apnea means a lot of tossing and turning, multiple toilet trips at night, and a lot of snoring. Those who suffer from sleep apnea know how difficult it is to get quality sleep at night. Getting good sleep is very important for our health.

Both poor quality and insufficient sleep have been related to a variety of negative health effects, including excess body weight. Sleep apnea is a sleep disease that causes poor sleep and has been linked to weight gain. Unfortunately, it's a vicious cycle because weight gain can cause sleep apnea.

In this blog we’ll read about whether being overweight causes sleep apnea, or does sleep apnea cause weight gain? Or both?. Continue reading to discover more about the link between sleep apnea and weight gain.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that causes you to stop breathing or breathe shallowly (apnea) while sleeping. This can occur hundreds of times per night in severe situations. Symptoms of OSA are:

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping for air
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Weariness during the day
  • Frequent restroom breaks
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Libido shifts
  • Tooth grinding

Relationship between Sleep Apnea and Weight Gain

Sleep apnea and weight gain are two health conditions which commonly occur together, but which comes first? Is sleep apnea caused by weight gain, weight gain caused by sleep apnea? The answer to this question is a little tricky.

According to a study, it is found that 70% of people with sleep apnea have obesity. It is said that the risk of developing sleep apnea increases with weight gain. The explanation for the link between excess body weight and the development of sleep apnea is not entirely known. It is most likely due to fat accumulation in the neck, which narrows the airway and increases the possibility of obstruction while sleeping.

Many people with sleep apnea have also gained weight. This is most likely due to not getting enough sleep at night which leads to exhaustion during the day, also increase in appetite and cravings and hormonal changes that can lead to increase in body weight.

How Does Sleep Apnea Cause Weight Gain?

Poor sleep has a negative impact on our health in quite a number of ways, including weight gain. Those who sleep less than 7 hours per night have higher risk of weight growth and obesity. Weight gain also happens for a number of reasons:

  • Fatigue- If someone is suffering from sleep apnea, they most likely feel sleepy during the day. They can fall asleep doing daily life tasks and also they have very less interest in participating in any physical activities.
  • Increased Appetite and Cravings- If you don’t get enough sleep during the night, according to studies it will increase your appetite and cravings for high carbohydrate food.
  • Hormonal Changes- Sleep apnea impacts a number of hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism, such as insulin, leptin, and ghrelin.
  • Insulin- Sleep apnea raises the risk of insulin resistance, which is frequently connected with obesity and diabetes. Insulin resistance can lead to weight gain since insulin is a hormone that urges our bodies to store fat and makes us feel hungry, which increases food intake.

Will Treating Sleep Apnea Help Lose Weight?

Ofcourse! Treating sleep apnea can help you lose weight along with some changes to your lifestyle like a balanced diet, increased physical activity, and certain medications can also help.

Treating your apnea will help you sleep better and longer. Sleep is an essential component in weight loss journey. People who typically sleep less than seven hours a day benefit from metabolic changes and higher weight loss when they sleep more than 7 hours.

Those who sleep less than 6 hours per night tend to be more likely to consume more near bedtime, increasing their overall caloric intake that leads to weight gain.


It is very difficult to get enough quality sleep at night if someone has sleep apnea. Lack of sleep can increase the risk of getting or worsening illnesses such as hypertension, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

When you don't get enough sleep, you are more likely to gain weight owing to hormonal changes and excessive weariness, making it difficult to stay active. Being overweight or obese can aggravate sleep apnea symptoms, therefore the two disorders can intensify each other.

If you are overweight or obese, Try to lose weight, it will help you overcome sleep apnea while also lowering your risk of other significant, chronic disorders.

If you have sleep apnea, consider using a contoured pillow. Medical professionals recommend contour pillows for people with sleep apnea because of its raised center, which supports the neck and keeps the head in a neutral posture.

The best contoured pillow available in the market is the Sleepsia contour memory foam pillow with infused gel. This is constructed of memory foam, which conforms to the contour of your head and relieves pressure effectively.