Why Do Fat People Snore More Than Average People?

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Being overweight can be difficult, even if you follow a healthy lifestyle – one that involves eating a nutritious, balanced diet and exercising. 

The difficulties of being overweight are well known, but their lack of sleep is something that isn’t talked about much. Overweight people tend to deal with sleep issues, mainly caused by a common disorder known as sleep apnea.

The kind of sleep they are getting can also have adverse health effects. This is often the underlying reason why fat people snore. So, why do fat people snore? Let’s take a look.

Why Do Fat People Snore?

One important reason why fat people snore is they may be suffering from a disorder known as sleep apnea. It may surprise you to learn that there are around 18 million people who are affected by this disorder.

The problem for those who suffer from sleep apnea is that it causes them to not get a good night’s sleep.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

woman sleeping with cpap mask because of obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that develops in overweight people where the muscles that support the soft palate and tongue become relaxed soon after they go to sleep.

As soon as this occurs, the airway narrows or closes up, preventing proper airflow into the lungs. This can cause a person to start snoring, snorting, gasping, or choking. These are all clear signs of sleep apnea. 

In most cases, a person will wake up because they find it hard to breathe. As soon as they do, the muscles in their throat and mouth will contract, allowing their airway to open up again.

Connection Between Body and Brain

Some people with sleep apnea are not consciously aware that they are suffering from this sleep disorder. However, their brain knows it.

With each snort, snore, or gasp, the person will wake up a little bit, and in turn, they endure a lousy night’s sleep.

People who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea tend to never go into a deep sleep state. And even if they do, they may find that they don´t stay in it long enough for it to be restful.

Why Is Being Overweight Causing Me to Snore?

How much weight we carry is usually determined by how much – and what – we eat, along with how much exercise we get. A person’s genes can also explain why some people are heavier than others.

Although being overweight may contribute to your snoring problem, it is not the only reason. You may also find that the fat you retain is distributed in your body and can determine whether you snore or not. 

The two areas of the body where retention of fat is a problem for people with sleep apnea and can lead to them snoring are neck fat and stomach fat.

Neck Fat

The build-up of fat in the neck area leads to the compression of the soft tissue in the upper airway, particularly when you are lying down. The risk of you snoring when you are lying down to go to sleep is increased.

The size of your neck can also play a pivotal role. People who have a neck measuring over 16 inches in diameter will find that this can increase their chances of snoring.

Stomach Fat

The build-up of fat in your stomach can indirectly cause your upper airway to compress and result in pauses in breathing.

A person carrying excess body fat around the belly pushes their diaphragm up. In turn, this causes their chest to compress the ribcage. As a result, the amount of air that can get into their lungs through their throat and nasal passages is reduced and can lead to heavy snoring.

With the lungs unable to hold as much air, you will experience restricted airflow. Once this occurs, it alters the shape of your throat, causing the airway to collapse during sleep.

Men are More Likely to Snore Than Women

Man Snoring

The way fat is distributed around the body varies between men and women and goes a long way to show why men tend to snore more than women.

Men tend to gain weight around the neck, the chest, and the stomach. So, of course, their chances of snoring significantly increase, leading to sleep deprivation.

At the same time, many women carry weight around their thighs, hips, and bottoms. Older women should note that as they go through menopause, the areas where fat is stored change. With age, women are more likely to retain fat around the stomach area, increasing the likelihood that they will then start to snore more.

How Lack of Sleep Affects Weight

Less Production of Vital Hormones

A lack of sleep can produce two particular hormones that will affect appetite and lead to weight gain and inadequate sleep.

The two hormones that our bodies need to produce to help prevent weight gain are leptin and ghrelin.

Production of leptin is vital as it helps to provide signals to and tell you when to stop eating, so you avoid gaining excess weight.

Ghrelin is also an essential hormone that our bodies produce that notifies our body when we are feeling hungry. 

If you aren´t getting enough sleep, the amount of leptin produced by your body is reduced while the amount of ghrelin produced by your body is increased. As a result, you will find yourself feeling hungrier more often. And even when you eat, it may take you longer to feel full.

Sleep Affects Your Metabolism

If obese people aren´t getting enough sleep, they will find their metabolism slowing down. Metabolism slows down to help the body conserve more of the food and energy it’s stored throughout the day. When your metabolism slows down, it is harder to lose weight. 

They may also find that when their metabolism has slowed, they feel hungrier. In turn, they may find themselves craving unhealthy foods. These are the kinds of foods that are high in carbs and calories. They eat these because they think they will provide them with a boost of energy.

How Fat People Who Snore Can Deal with Their Situation

The first thing anyone who has sleeping problems because of their weight should do is seek advice from their doctor.

If you are waking up during the night often, feeling sleepy during the day, or suffer from headaches in the morning, then you should speak to a doctor.

A doctor can confirm if they are suffering from sleep problems because of their weight. If they are, their doctor will be able to determine if they are not getting enough sleep at night because they snore too much. It may also be the reason why they are not able to lose weight. 

In Conclusion 

Unfortunately, people that have more fat have a higher chance to snore while they’re sleeping. As shown above, a person’s extra fat makes breathing much harder, especially during sleep. 

When we lie down, excess weight places stress on vital organs in the body. For fat people, when they lay down, the pressure put on their throat is greater and leads to them snoring. 

However, if an overweight person is willing to work to help reduce the amount of fat they have, their snoring can be reduced. 

We hope you have found this article helpful, and hopefully, it gave you some insight into the question you have been contemplating – why do fat people snore?

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