Stress, Snoring, and Weight Gain… Is there a Link?
Stress is a silent killer. Be it acute or chronic stress, it leads to rapid changes in the body.
Stress, weight gain, and snoring are interconnected. Stress causes weight gain; weight gain causes snoring; snoring affects sleep, which elevates stress and the chain reaction continues.
Let’s explore about the link between stress, snoring and weight gain.
What Is the Link Between Stress, Snoring, and Weight Gain?
Cortisol—The Stress Hormone
Stress can wreak havoc on your body and mind.
What causes stress? The answer could be everything that is beyond your means. It is not possible to point out a single reason for stress and it varies with every individual.
Stress can be physical, work-related, from family issues, or even psychological.
When you feel stressed, your body secretes the hormone cortisol. Response to stress is usually limited. Our body has a fight or flight reaction towards stress. Overexposure of cortisol increases the risk of health problems, such as:
- Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues
- Weight gain
- Sleep disorder
- Digestive issues
- Heart problems
Stress and Weight Gain
When you are stressed, you feel down, mentally low, and lack of motivation. Many people find comfort in food.
Although food provides temporary relief from the effects of stress, it is not a long-term nor a healthy solution.
We crave a big piece of cake or a grab a chocolate bar after a hectic day at work. This is a stress-induced craving. Many factors collectively trigger stress eating. Anxious feelings cause you to crave carbs or chocolates because they release serotonin, a happy hormone that makes you feel good.
To cope with stress, food becomes a savior. You don’t feel the same satisfaction from a salad or steamed veggies.
Healthy and conscious eating goes on a holiday when we have excess cortisol in our body. The high calorie or fatty foods make us feel good, instantly, after a hard day.
Increase in cortisol hormone also increases insulin levels in the bloodstream. It drops blood sugar, you lose energy, and you naturally crave fatty, sugary, and heavy (comfort) foods.
Research indicates that stress increases hunger pangs in the body. If you feel stress, you eat more. High levels of stress hormones in your body is directly linked with eating more, storing excess abdominal fat, and weight gain.
Over-eating not only causes weight gain, but also digestive issues. Stress hormones also affect the other natural functions in the body.
Weight Gain and Snoring
Snoring happens when you cannot breathe freely through the throat and nose when you sleep. Vibrations in the throat tissues produces a sound we know—snoring.
Excess weight collapses the throat airways and makes snoring worse. Neck fat constricts the muscles and tissues in the throat. Obstructed breathing during sleep causes snoring.
Being overweight exacerbates snoring and other issues like choking, wheezing, gasping, and snorting during sleep.
Stress and Snoring
There is no direct link between stress and snoring, of course. But aside from weight gain, stress also leads to poor sleep. When you feel anxious, you may go sleepless for several days and nights.
It makes you exhausted, and lethargic. To boost energy, you tend to eat more, which means gain more fat.
Stress also impacts the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep because you are unable to relax your brain and fall asleep when you need to in order to reach a REM cycle.
Find ways to cut down stress levels to stay healthy. Stress control is the key to healthy body and balanced mind. Try using different techniques like yoga, meditation, breathing, etc., when you’re stressed instead of binge-eating.
Not only will this put a stop to the vicious stress/snoring cycle, but it will also help you lead a happier life! If you still can’t seem to stop yourself from stressing out, there’s no harm in giving your doctor a visit.