Is There a Relationship Between Sleep Apnea and Obesity?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing is disrupted throughout the night. A person with sleep apnea may stop breathing for over a minute at a time, multiple times throughout the night, depriving the body and brain of necessary oxygen. There are two main types of sleep apnea: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Central Sleep Apnea (CSA). A combination of the two, in which a person has both obstructive and central sleep apnea is called Mixed Sleep Apnea (MSA). In cases of obstructive sleep apnea, obesity can be a major factor in causing or aggravating the apnea.

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway is partially or completely blocked while sleeping.  It is very common. The severity of obstructive sleep apnea is measured by the number of episodes per hour of sleep:

  • Mild OSA – 5-15 episodes per hour of sleep
  • Moderate OSA – 15-30 episodes per hour of sleep
  • Severe OSA – 30+ episodes per hour of sleep

How Does Obesity Impact Sleep Apnea?

Excess weight and obesity are often the culprit in obstructive sleep apnea in adults. Being overweight can cause you to have excess soft tissue in the mouth and throat, and when you go to sleep and relax your throat and tongue muscles, that excess tissue obstructs the airway. The unfortunate circumstance is that sleep apnea can also worsen the same ailments that obesity worsens – heart disease and blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, diabetes, and heart failure.

Will Losing Weight Help My Sleep Apnea?

Losing weight can help with sleep apnea symptoms. Even a small weight loss can have a big impact. But it can be difficult to lose weight when you are exhausted during the day from not sleeping well at night, so treating the obstructive sleep apnea may be the first step in being able to lose weight.

If you are suffering from sleep apnea or have struggled with using a CPAP, the first step is to schedule an appointment with a doctor who specializes in sleep medicine. We offer CPAP alternatives. Call (203)-245-0412 today, or schedule an appointment using this form.

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We regret to announce that we will be closing the practice for in person and telehealth services for Sleep and Neuroscience Treatment as of 9/30/2023. The Practice was formerly owned by Dr. Malhotra and was located at 86 Bradley Road, Madison, CT 06443.

In February 2022, Waterstone acquired Sleep and Neuroscience Treatment under Dr. Thomas Abbenante, who has been working with patients in Greenwich and New Haven offices.

If you are seeking new services, please contact your health insurance company who can provide you with a list of providers that are in network with your current plan. For additional information or referrals, you can also contact the Connecticut State Medical Society at or by calling 203-865-0587.

For current or previous patients, please contact our agency for information regarding your account, appointments, or medical records. You may reach us at 203-245-0412 or fax requests to 203-427-0441. You will receive mailed information detailing closure and any follow-up instructions.

Please note that the business mailing address for Dr. Abbenante and Sleep and Neuroscience is:

Dr. Thomas Abbenante
Sleep & Neuroscience Department
c/o Waterstone Counseling Centers, LLC
86 Bradley Road
Madison, CT  06443