For the first time a study has focused on how weight loss affects obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It is a chronic sleep condition in which a person stops breathing multiples times during the night, leading to disrupted sleep, and daytime sleepiness. OSA has been a top concern for health care systems in recent years as many people often times go undiagnosed.
Obesity is one of the biggest risk factors for OSA. However, there haven’t been many studies that have focused on solely on how weight loss affects sleep itself. Furthermore, there is no national screening program for identifying or preventing the progression of OSA.
Conducted in Finland, the study was a collaboration between researchers in the Kuopio University Hospital, and researchers at the University of Eastern Finland between 2004 and 2013. The participants in the study were moderately obese adult patients with mild OSA, who were either given the standard general care of written and verbal information about diet and exercise or supervised for 1 year with a lifestyle intervention program.
The results showed that even weight loss of as little as 5%, and keeping that weight of it can lead to an improvement in OSA symptoms. By targeting individuals in the early stages of OSA, progression of the condition can be prevented and possibly cured as weight loss continued.
Making the effort to sleep better is certainly worth it. Previous studies have shown that sleep can improve current medical conditions and decreases the risk for others. Try adding morning exercise to your morning routine for sleep improvements. Don’t hesitate to speak with a licensed physician or sleep specialist regarding any sleep problem!