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Your Best Health: Adult Weight Management

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

What is sleep apnea?

Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone. Anthony Burgess

Some people’s sleep is affected by a health condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If you think this may be affecting you, talk to your doctor.

In the same way that other interruptions to your sleep are connected to weight gain, so is OSA. OSA causes the airways to become blocked as the throat muscles and tongue relax during sleep. This can cause you to stop breathing for short periods many times when you’re sleeping, which may cause you to wake up often. You may not remember waking up.

People with OSA often have less oxygen in their blood when they sleep. Common symptoms of OSA are snoring, choking/gasping during sleep, and feeling sleepy and very tired during the day. All of these can make it harder to make healthy changes to your lifestyle. Even if you think you’re getting enough sleep, you may not be because you’re waking up so often. It’s often a bed partner that notices the pauses in your breathing.

If you think you may have OSA, talk to your doctor. Your doctor will be able to find out if you have OSA and talk with you about treatments. There are several treatments for OSA that can help you to sleep better and feel more rested during the day. Stopping weight gain or losing weight may also improve OSA symptoms.

Something to ask yourself ...

If you wish to save the blank form or print your answers, refer to the reflection journal.

Do you think you might have sleep apnea?

Talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider.​