If you suffer from sleep apnea, you’ve probably heard or read that weight loss is one of the best remedies.
However, until now, researchers could never explain why, which led us to question how credible their words were.
Now finally a new study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine reveals the real reason weight loss helps with sleep apnea.
It also highlights how you can replicate those results without even losing weight.
Commonsense suggests that weight loss leads to a reduction in fat inside the upper airway and that this is the reason why sleep apnea sufferers who lose weight suddenly start breathing more easily while they are asleep.
But while this is certainly true, this new study shows that it is not the chief reason for the improvement in nighttime breathing.
They asked 67 obese people with suspected sleep apnea to undergo a sleep study and upper airway and abdominal MRI scans before and after a weight loss program so they could compare their sleep with their upper airway and abdominal tissue.
Some participants underwent weight loss surgery while others were placed on strict diet and exercise programs. On average, they lost 10 percent of their body weight.
Predictably, the sleep studies revealed that the subject’s nighttime breathing improved. Their apnea-hypopnea index scores, which measures how many times breathing stops in an hour during one sleep session improved by an average of 30.7 percent.
Their scans revealed that a large reduction in the pterygoid explained some of this breathing improvement as a result of the weight loss. The pterygoid is a jaw muscle that controls chewing.
But the star contributor to the improved breathing was something unexpected: a reduction in tongue fat.
30 percent of the improvement in their subject’s breathing was caused by a reduction in tongue fat.
Interestingly, our stop snoring and sleep apnea exercises tackle exactly these two main causes of snoring and sleep apnea – the jaw and tongue. But our exercises work without any weight loss and only take 3 minutes a day. Learn the exercises here…