How Weight Loss Can Lead to a Better Night’s Sleep

A good night’s sleep is hard to achieve for many people, but those struggling with obesity often face additional challenges. Here’s how weight loss surgery can help.

A good night’s sleep is crucial to a healthy lifestyle, and Americans in general are not getting enough rest. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep Health Index, 45 percent of people surveyed reported that poor or insufficient sleep had negatively impacted their lives at least once in the past week. What’s more, of those who said they got the recommended seven hours of sleep per night, 20 percent did not feel rested upon waking up.

For people who are overweight or obese, falling or staying asleep may be even more difficult. Several studies have shown that obesity and sleep deprivation are closely linked. Plus, conditions connected to obesity — such as sleep apnea — can negatively impact sleep quality. 

Fortunately, weight loss through lifestyle changes or bariatric surgery has many health benefits, including making it easier to get that much-needed rest. Here’s what you need to know about the connection between obesity and sleep deprivation, and how weight loss surgery can help you achieve a better night’s sleep.

How Does Excess Weight Impact Your Sleep?

Disrupted breathing is the most common sleep complication among people who are overweight or obese. Excess fat can lead to crowding around the airway and at the base of the tongue, resulting in a collapsed airway. In mild cases, disrupted breathing simply causes snoring. However, consistent or severe snoring can be an indicator of more serious problems like sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea occurs when a person’s flow of air is completely obstructed on and off throughout the night. People with BMIs in the overweight range (25 – 29.9), are 20 percent more likely to have a mild case of sleep apnea, which is enough to seriously disrupt healthy sleep habits. In addition to daytime drowsiness and problems with mood, memory, and concentration brought on by lack of sleep, the effects of sleep apnea also include an increased risk of heart failure, high blood pressure, and stroke.

The sleep problems caused by obesity may also result in more weight gain. Sleep deprivation causes hormonal changes that can disrupt a person’s metabolism and the ability to regulate their weight. Sleepier people also tend to eat more, eat unhealthy foods, and exercise less.

How Weight Loss Surgery Can Improve Your Sleep

As obesity can cause sleep problems and sleep problems in turn can cause weight gain, many people get stuck in a cycle that is bad for their physical and mental health. Fortunately, better sleep is one of the many benefits of bariatric surgery. For instance, losing weight around the midsection means that less stress is put on the respiratory area, which reduces the risk of sleep apnea. 

On average, losing just ten percent of your body’s excess weight can reduce the effects of poor sleep dramatically. You’re more likely to eat well and fit a workout in if you’re coming off a good night’s rest, allowing you to maintain the results gained from weight loss surgery with a healthy lifestyle. 

Is obesity impacting your sleep, your confidence, or your health? If you’re ready to start your weight loss journey, schedule a consultation with Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors to discuss bariatric surgery today. Our licensed medical professionals will help you decide which weight loss option is best for you, and provide support through every step of the process.