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Holiday Weight Gain May Contribute to Sleep Apnea Extra Pounds May Produce Severe Problems for Adults
Date:12/25/2008

A dentist who owns a successful dental practice and center for sound sleep in the Midwest is warning people that even slight weight gain during the holiday may contribute to a energy-robbing and dangerous disease known as sleep apnea. Weight added, especially in the neck region, can further complicate breathing while sleeping.

Bloomington, Ind. (PRWEB) December 25, 2008 -- Indulging in high-calorie foods during the holidays resulting in weight gain, especially around the neck, may lead to aggravating, or developing, sleep apnea, according to Dr. David Lawler, a Diplomat of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine.

Many Americans put on pounds during November and December, leading not only to new year's resolutions, but possibly significant impairment of their air passages during sleep, says Lawler of www.thecenterforsoundsleep.com.

With the exception of certain flat-faced dogs, such as bulldogs, humans are the only mammals that suffer from sleep apnea, a common, but dangerous condition where the upper airway in the throat closes off during sleep. Just like bulldogs, certain people have anatomical irregularities in the skull that predispose them to sleep apnea.

"The percentages of people with anatomical irregularities pale in comparison to the number suffering from sleep apnea due to weight gain," Lawler said. "Fatty deposits accumulate in the neck as well as throughout the body. Any increase in neck size due to fat formation encroaches on the upper airway causing the airway to narrow."

Air rushing through this narrowed airway space causes the loose, flabby tissue to vibrate. The snoring sound that results can be highly annoying to a bed partner, and cause the snorer to be the brunt of humorous jokes. However, this sound can be the sound
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