Gaining weight can bring on sleep apnea …
After the birth of his daughter and a hectic year of studying for the California bar exam, Mark Yanis let exercise and nutrition fall by the wayside. Soon he had gained about 20 pounds, always felt run-down, and was having trouble sleeping through the night.
Eventually Yanis was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. Doctors told him that his high tongue and narrow airways were part of the problem and, at 5'10" and 220 pounds, that the extra weight he was carrying brought it to the surface.
"The physical presence of extra tissue and fat in the neck compresses the area related to sleep apnea," explains Charles Kimmelman, MD, director of the New York City Ear, Nose and Throat Center (which specializes in sleep apnea treatments). "The airway becomes more narrow, while the organs and tissues swellmaking for very little room for the traveling oxygen."