can weight loss cure sleep apnea?

Can Weight Loss Cure Sleep Apnea?

May 8, 2024, 09:08 AM by Sam Shovlin

Quality sleep not only reduces stress levels, and enhances your mood, but it also improves your cognitive function and immune system. And we at BodySlims have always stressed the importance of a good night's sleep in achieving your weight loss goals due to its impact on your overall health and lifestyle. 

So we know sleep can help with weight loss, but would you be surprised if we told you that weight loss can help your sleep? Of course, weight loss can make you more comfortable in your bed at night, but it also assists in balancing your sleep regulation hormones and improving your sleep patterns. But what’s more, it can actually help those who suffer from sleep disorders, sleep apnea in particular. To understand how we’re going to explain the connection between weight and sleep apnea and answer the questions: How do you fix sleep apnea naturally? And can sleep apnea be cured by losing weight? 

Understanding Sleep Apnea

For those who don’t know much about sleep apnea, here’s a small recap: 

What is Sleep Apnea? 

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that causes a person's breathing to be interrupted while sleeping. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, meaning the brain - and the rest of the body - may not get enough oxygen. And with a lack of oxygen, people can experience cardiovascular and neurological issues, as well as metabolism disruption and increased stress hormone production.

There are two main types of sleep apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea, the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax, and central sleep apnea, which occurs when your brain doesn't send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. Additionally, some people have complex sleep apnea syndrome, which is a combination of both.

How is Common is Sleep Apnea? 

According to research, sleep apnea occurs in about 3% of people who are of normal weight. However, this number rises to an astounding 20% for people who are overweight. The worrying thing? You mightn’t even know you suffer from it as, sleep quality issues aside, many people suffer from other symptoms such as fatigue, difficulty concentrating and mood swings, things we often associate with being overweight! 

The Connection Between Sleep Apnea and Weight Gain

Now, what’s interesting is sleep apnea and weight gain share a bidirectional relationship, meaning each condition can actually exacerbate the other. How? 

Weight Gain Causing Sleep Apnea 

With excess body weight, many people experience extra pounds around the neck and upper belly  (or beer belly as it’s more commonly known!) areas. And it’s the fatty tissues in these areas that can cause your airway to narrow, putting more pressure on the lungs, which then increases the likelihood of obstructed breathing during your sleep, ultimately leading to the development of (obstructive) sleep apnea. 

Sleep Apnea Causing Weight Gain

On the other hand, sleep apnea disrupts sleep patterns, which leads to hormonal imbalances that increase hunger and appetite, often resulting in weight gain. Additionally, the lack of oxygen that can occur with sleep apnea, alongside an increase in stress hormones, promotes fat deposition and metabolic dysfunction, further contributing to weight gain. But not only that, the fatigue and sleepiness caused by sleep apnea can have the knock-on effect of reducing your physical activity levels, making it more challenging for weight loss and weight maintenance

How Do You Fix Sleep Apnea Naturally?

While there are medical methods for treating sleep apnea, such as using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine,  if you’re overweight, the first step is losing and actually maintaining a healthy weight. By shedding those extra pounds, that pressure on the airways you experience is reduced, which can dramatically lessen the severity of sleep apnea symptoms. This improvement not only enhances the quality of your sleep but also reduces the risk of associated health issues, such as type 2 diabetes, heart attack and stroke, making weight loss a powerful tool in managing and potentially alleviating sleep apnea.

So, Can Sleep Apnea be Cured by Losing Weight? 

Losing weight has long been known to alleviate sleep apnea symptoms. However, in some cases, it can also help cure it! We know, we’ve seen it. 

One amazing BodySlimmer, Greg Ward from Ballinasloe, Galway, managed to cure his sleep apnea by losing over 24 stone with our programme! Greg (going_going_greg) found his Why, being there for his wife and his three boys, and decided to show up for himself, starting with one day, breaking it up into a series of moments and never looking back…

Listen to how losing weight with BodySlims helped cure Greg’s sleep apnea…


“...I want to talk a little about non-scale victories. I had a big one yesterday…a good while ago, when I was at my absolute heaviest, which was 24 stone 8, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, really severe sleep apnea, so as part of that, I got the CPAP, a continuous positive airway pressure machine, basically to stop me choking in my sleep - very useful but an absolute passion killer. Long story short, I saw my respiratory consultant yesterday… and she said to me, she looked at all the information coming from the CPAP machine, she put down the folder, and said, ‘You’re the first person in my career that I have seen cure themselves of sleep apnea.’ HUGE for me... That [CPAP] machine goes back to the people who gave it to me Monday morning. Win!“

Discover Your Own Non-Scale Victories with BodySlims!

If you want to lose weight, improve your sleep and take back your life, look no further than BodySlims, the weight loss programme like no other that helps you lose weight and actually keep it off. 

Could curing your sleep apnea be your own nonscale victory, like Greg? Or if you don’t suffer from it, could just finally getting a good night's sleep be yours? With BodySlims, the possibilities are endless. So dare to dream with us and sign up today


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