Sleep apnea is a disorder that is increasing amongst the U.S. population in recent years. That may be due to the fact that more doctors are diagnosing sleep apnea for people who don’t fit the classic profile of being older, overweight men. Then again, it could be that incidences of this disorder are just on the rise due to natural circumstances, affecting approximately 9 percent of middle-aged men and up to 4 percent of middle-aged women. Whatever the case, it’s a growing problem but new research seems to show that infrared body wraps could help allay symptoms.
The Link Between Weight and Sleep Apnea
Although all of those people diagnosed with sleep apnea are not overweight, the majority are. And a recent sleep apnea study published on JAMA finds that obese patients could be helped tremendously by losing weight through diet and exercise. The effects of a healthier lifestyle – which include stopping the disease from progressing –last over the long term. The original research, which showed that diet and exercise counseling had a positive effect on sleep apnea patients, was completed four years earlier. The more recent study followed up with a portion of those original participants to verify that the effects were long lasting.
Sleep apnea is often progressive. It starts with difficulties breathing while asleep; the sufferer actually stops breathing for frequent short periods throughout the night. As it worsens, those periods escalate to comprise more than half of each hour of sleep. The result is an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
The one thing that seems to exacerbate symptoms the worst is obesity but even small amounts of weight gain can have an adverse effect. In fact, according to Gary Foster, head of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at the Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, “Obesity is the single most potent modifiable risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea.”
Weight Loss as a Sleep Apnea Treatment
Based on these results and other observations from the medical community, it is suggested that weight loss could be an effective treatment for sleep apnea. Although the symptoms of sleep apnea can be addressed by devices such as CPAP (which opens airways to prevent breathing disruption), they do nothing to prevent cardiovascular disease. Weight loss, however, will certainly make the entire body healthier and is the most vital way of preventing cardiovascular problems.
So how do infrared body wraps help? By aiding those who suffer from sleep apnea in losing weight. Along with a sensible diet and regular exercise program, weekly body wrap sessions have helped many overweight people slim down, particularly in the abdominal area – which can be one of the most difficult places to lose inches, especially for middle-aged adults.
If you start a prevention program as soon as your symptoms start occurring, you increase the chances of sleep apnea not progressing in severity – and that could save your life. Start making healthy lifestyle changes now and avoid complications, such as cardiovascular disease, later.