The relationship between being overweight and snoring is often an overlooked matter – however, where fat is distributed on our bodies can dictate whether we snore and, in some cases, sleep apnea (when you stop breathing while you are asleep).
When we are overweight, our neck fat can cause direct compression of the upper airway, particularly when we are lying down. Excess weight around your belly and chest area can put pressure on your diaphragm, pushing it up whilst also compressing your ribcage – all of this will lower your lung capacity and restrict airflow.
What can also occur is the start of a snoring-weight gain cycle, whereby the sleep deprivation caused by snoring or sleep apnea can lead to changes in our daily habits and appetite and thus facilitate more weight gain.
Poor sleep can lead to poor food choices, overeating and under-exercising due to fatigue and tiredness – creating a vicious cycle that can lead to more health risks linked to obesity and being overweight further down the line.
To break the snoring cycle, think about addressing these are 3 key areas:
1. Maintain a healthier weight through proper nutrition and exercise.
2. Improve your sleep hygiene by having a proper sleep schedule and limiting exposure to noise, blue light devices and stimulants close to bedtime.
3. Implementing snoring remedies such as mouthpieces and positional therapies.
Read what science says about sleep to help promote fat loss, control hunger and boost gym performance.
If you do have any concerns regarding your snoring, remember to consult a medical professional for advice on your next steps.