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The Link Between Weight Loss and Improved Sleep

We know that excess pounds have numerous deleterious effects on your health, from stressing your joints to increasing your risk for serious conditions, like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Being either overweight or obese also affects your sleep, and contributes to sleep-related health problems. 

Simply losing weight can significantly improve and even eradicate certain sleep problems, but you need to lose weight in a medically sound way, not adhere to some fad diet. 

Dr. Gurprit Sekhon offers medically supervised weight loss that, like any treatment plan she creates, is customized to you. Everyone at the Nu Wave Medical Center wants to see you succeed at weight loss, and do it the healthy way. 

Too many pounds wreak havoc on your rest

Obstructive sleep apnea happens when your airway becomes narrower or closes entirely when you breathe as you sleep. This is the result of the relaxation of the muscles that support your soft palate (the back area of the roof of your mouth), your uvula (the piece of tissue that hangs from your soft palate), the sides of your throat and tongue, and your tonsils. 

Because your breathing is constricted, your brain goes on alert and causes you to awaken briefly so that you can open your airway again. Typically, you’re not even conscious of this occurring, but these constant sleep interruptions can happen up to 30 or more times an hour and make for feeling exhausted the next day.

Other sleep apnea symptoms include heavy snoring or gasping, morning headaches, having a dry mouth in the morning, and understandably, feeling cranky. We know that 60-90% of adults who suffer from sleep apnea are overweight

Heartburn and acid reflux — when stomach acid improperly flows into your esophagus — make laying down quite uncomfortable. Aside from the burning, you may also have trouble swallowing, notice a bad taste in your mouth, and cough or have a sore throat. If you suffer from acid reflux two or more times per week, this is considered gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD

Obesity has been identified as the major cause of heartburn and a significant GERD risk factor since unwanted pounds put pressure on your abdomen and increase the likelihood of stomach acid leaks or backflow. 

Restless leg syndrome is another confounding and uncomfortable condition that’s seen more in overweight and obese individuals. The condition makes it nearly impossible to stop your leg from twitching and moving as you’re falling asleep, robbing you of quality rest. 

Can losing weight help me sleep better?

Weight loss can either lessen or eradicate all of the sleep problems we’ve described thus far. 

If you shed a mere 10% of your body’s weight, you can alleviate your sleep apnea, while major weight loss can eliminate its symptoms completely. 

Imagine lowering your sleep apnea symptoms or ridding yourself of them entirely, and throwing out that awkward, uncomfortable continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine!

Losing pounds by following a healthy diet and exercise plan also cuts your heartburn and acid reflux-related symptoms, and prevents that leg from going rogue at night as you’re trying to drift off. 

Lose weight the right way

Dr. Sekhon advises her patients to shed weight smartly and safely. This means eating a healthy diet that’s built around your nutritional needs and weight loss goals, using weight loss products that have earned Dr. Sekhon’s approval, and incorporating an exercise plan that balances aerobic movement with strength training into your day as a routine.

It’s important to also realize that healthy weight loss is an emotional as well as a physical journey. Dr. Sekhon inspires and warmly encourages you as you strive to meet your weight loss goals. 

We’re with you every step of the way on your weight loss journey, whether you need to lose five pounds or 50. When you celebrate reaching your weight loss goal, we also help you maintain it so you can feel healthier, like how you look — and rest peacefully each night — for the long term.

Contact our office for a weight loss consultation, or set up an appointment using our online booking tool

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