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The Dangerous Link Between Obesity and Sleep Apnea and How My Family Deals with It

March 5, 2023

The Dangerous Link Between Obesity and Sleep Apnea and How My Family Deals with It

Are you struggling with obesity and sleep apnea?

If yes, then you’re not alone.

Studies have shown that there is a dangerous link between the two conditions, making it trickier to maintain your overall health. The truth is that being overweight can lead to various medical complications, including sleep apnea. But how do families manage this deadly combination? In this blog post, I’ll be sharing my family’s story: what we’ve learned from dealing with obesity and sleep apnea and how we’ve been able to overcome the challenges that come with them. So buckle up and get ready to dive into our journey!


Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. It can cause serious health problems, including obesity. Sleep apnea is more common in people who are overweight or obese.

Obesity is a major risk factor for sleep apnea. People who are obese are more likely to have sleep apnea than people of healthy weight. Obesity can also make sleep apnea worse.

My family has a history of obesity and sleep apnea. My grandfather died from complications of sleep apnea, and my father has struggled with the condition for many years. I am also overweight and have been diagnosed with sleep apnea.

Fortunately, there are treatments available for sleep apnea. My father uses a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to help him breathe at night. I am working on losing weight and hope to avoid the need for CPAP treatment in the future.

What is Sleep Apnea?

According to the National Institutes of Health, sleep apnea is a “disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.” These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to minutes, and can happen up to 30 times or more an hour. Translation: your brain and body aren’t getting the oxygen they need to function properly.

There are different types of sleep apnea, but the most common is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). That’s when your airway becomes blocked or collapses during sleep— often due to excess weight around your neck. When this happens, your brain senses the lack of oxygen and briefly wakes you up so you can reopen your airway. This cycle can repeat itself 5 to 30 times an hour, throughout the night— disrupting your sleep and leaving you exhausted during the day.

While anyone can develop sleep apnea, there are certain risk factors that make it more likely. Obesity is one of them. In fact, studies have shown that as BMI increases, so does the severity of OSA. That’s because fatty tissue around the neck can collapse and block the airway during sleep. So if you’re carrying extra weight, especially around your middle, it’s important to be aware of the potential link to sleep apnea.

Understanding the Link Between Obesity and Sleep Apnea

Obesity and sleep apnea are often linked because excess weight can lead to the development of sleep apnea, and sleep apnea can cause weight gain. Sleep apnea is a serious condition that causes people to stop breathing for short periods of time during sleep. This can happen many times throughout the night, which can lead to poor sleep and fatigue during the day. People who are obese are at an increased risk for developing sleep apnea because excess weight can cause the tissues in the throat to collapse and block the airway. Sleep apnea can also cause weight gain because it disrupts the body’s normal sleep patterns, which can lead to increased appetite and cravings for high-calorie foods.

My family has dealt with obesity and sleep apnea for many years. My father was diagnosed with sleep apnea when he was in his early 50s, and my mother has struggled with her weight most of her life. I am also overweight, but I have not been diagnosed with sleep apnea. My parents have both tried different treatments for their condition, but neither of them has been able to lose enough weight to make a significant difference in their symptoms. My father uses a CPAP machine at night, which helps him breathe better while he sleeps, but he still snores loudly and often wakes up feeling exhausted. My mother has tried various diets and exercise programs, but she always regains the weight she loses plus more.

  • I am currently working on losing weight myself
  • How it Affects My Family
  • The Dangerous Link Between Obesity and Sleep Apnea and How My Family Deals with It

Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that can be worsened by obesity. Here’s how my family deals with it.

When I was first diagnosed with sleep apnea, my family was shocked. They had no idea that my snoring was actually a sign of a serious problem. But once they learned more about sleep apnea and its dangers, they were very supportive of me getting treatment.

Sleep apnea can be dangerous because it can lead to other health problems, like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. It can also make it hard to get a good night’s sleep, which can affect your mood, energy levels, and overall health.

My family has been really supportive of me during my treatment for sleep apnea. They’ve helped me make lifestyle changes that have made a big difference in my health. We’ve also worked together to figure out the best treatment options for me.

I’m grateful to have such a supportive family as I deal with this condition. If you have sleep apnea, I encourage you to reach out to your loved ones for support as well!

Tips to Maintain a Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for many reasons. It can help you avoid diseases like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It can also help you sleep better and improve your overall quality of life.

There are a few things you can do to maintain a healthy weight:

1. Eat a healthy diet: focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of fat.

2. Get regular exercise: aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. Walking, biking, swimming, and running are all great options.

3. Monitor your weight regularly: weigh yourself at least once per week and track your progress over time. This will help you stay on track and make necessary adjustments to your diet and exercise routine if needed.

4. Talk to your doctor: if you’re having trouble losing weight or keeping it off, talk to your doctor about alternatives methods that may be right for you.

Coping Strategies for Managing Symptoms

There are a variety of coping strategies that can help manage the symptoms of sleep apnea. Some people find that losing weight helps to reduce the severity of their sleep apnea symptoms. Others find relief by sleeping on their side or stomach, rather than on their back.

Some people use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which helps to keep the airways open during sleep. Others may use an oral appliance, which is worn during sleep and helps to keep the tongue from blocking the airway.

Surgery is another option for some people with sleep apnea. However, it is not always successful and can have side effects, so it should be considered carefully before pursuing this option.

The most important thing is to talk to your doctor about what your options are and to find a treatment plan that works for you.


My family and I have had to face some very hard times together as a result of my father’s sleep apnea. From the high cost of treatment to the fatigue due to lack of quality sleep, it has been a real challenge for us all. Fortunately, we are finally starting to see some positive results from the treatments he is getting and can be thankful that his condition was diagnosed early on so we could address it quickly.

We understand better now than ever before how vital it is for people with obesity-related health issues like ours to seek professional help in order manage their weight and ward off potential complications as effectively as possible.

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