Many people may wonder about the interrelationship between their health and sleep.
For example, is insomnia related to an inability to lose weight, and is weight related to snoring?
How Snoring Affects Sleep Quality
The act of snoring affects the deepest stage of rapid eye movement sleep or REM sleep. This is the deepest stage of sleep, at which time your body can repair and regenerate. It is the stage of sleep that is most restorative and restful, as well as being the stage at which your body is doing most of its healing.
At this stage, your body relaxes completely, including all your muscles. When this happens, your tongue also relaxes, and when it does so, it pushes backward and partially obstructs the flow of air to and from your lungs. If the flow of air is fully obstructed, this is referred to as apnea, which can be dangerous.
If your airway is partially blocked by your tongue as you snore, your brain recognizes this and will cause you to wake up, so you can shift positions and prevent the obstruction. This is because the brain knows your body is not getting enough oxygen to its tissues.
However, these frequent interruptions of sleep that come with snoring mean you spend far less time in the deepest, most restorative REM sleep stage as compared to snorers. This is obvious to anyone who snores, as they tend to report feeling more tired and less well-rested after they sleep as compared to non-snorers as well.
How Sleep Quality Affects Weight Gain
A lack of sleep, sleep frequently interrupted by waking up, or poor sleep quality for other reasons can all result in the same thing: unwanted weight gain.
It is widely recognized that a lack of restful sleep is hard on your body, but few people know the underlying reason for this: stress hormones.
When you sleep poorly or do not get enough REM sleep due to snoring, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol, which is known by many as the stress hormone, has been found in many studies to be highly interlinked with weight gain.
Through it is unclear if cortisol release causes weight gain directly, or causes people to eat more due to stress, the result is the same. People with higher cortisol levels have a greater body mass index and higher body fat levels than those who do not, an among the people with highest cortisol levels are those who have chronic poor sleep and associated physical stress.
Poor Sleep Can Inhibit Weight Loss
Virtually everyone knows what must be done to lose weight. We must eat less, eat better, and pay attention to what we are eating. We have to exercise our bodies. In short, we must have some measure of sustained self-control over time.
It is a simple fact that when you feel like you haven’t gotten enough sleep, it is virtually impossible to exert the amount of self-control required to engage in all the activities needed for weight loss.
It is an unfortunate reality that some people will stereotype the overweight as being lazy or unmotivated when there are critical biological factors at play that are actively inhibiting their weight loss.
If you are so tired that is takes everything you have to get yourself out of bed and ready for work, then you likely also won’t be able to exert the effort to prepare three well-rounded, healthy meals and exercise for an hour. When you haven’t slept enough or slept well, it is almost impossible to have the energy to do so.
If your partner keeps coming to you with complaints about your snoring, it may be time to consider weight loss in addition to other methods to prevent snoring. If their grievances are more about how much weight you have gained, or how hard it is for you to lose weight if you are trying, then trying to improve your sleep quality through preventing snoring is your best bet.
Through improving sleep and losing weight, people can achieve optimal health and wellness. This will help you live better, be happier, and enjoy your life to the greatest extent possible.
Chief editor here at Snore Nation and a proud father of two cool boys. I am a reformed snorer, a reformed smoker, a reformed overeater, a reformed city dweller and a reformed workaholic stress monster on the mission to share my insider tips to restore that quality sleep for you and your partner!