The tongue contains a lot of fat, which can be one of the main causes of snoring, choking, or breathing stopping periodically at night.
According to Sleep Medicine specialist at “Penn Medicine”, Richard Schwab, and lead author of a new study published in the American Journal of Respiratory Medicine and Intensive Care, reducing tongue fat can improve your sleep according to “BBC”.
In a previous study by Schwab and his team, I found that people who are obese and obstructive sleep apnea actually have large tongues that are high in fat.
The new study found that you can reduce the fat in your tongue, as soon as you lose your body fat.
The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging to measure the effect of 10% weight loss on the airways of 67 obese patients. The result showed that a lack of fat in the tongue is the main cause of an 30% improvement in sleep obstructive sleep apnea.
In turn, Schwab explained: “The more fat that the tongue lost, the more you notice improvement in the case of sleep apnea.”
Obstructive sleep apnea is a risk to human life, as it can lead to abnormal white matter in the brain, high blood pressure, depression, and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
Currently, a person with sleep apnea can use the “CPAP” treatment, which is a device attached to a machine that pumps air into the mouth, to prevent the airway from narrowing.
The study also found that losing weight can reduce the size of the jaw muscles, which control chewing, but not as much as reducing the fat in the tongue.
Schwab said it is important to do more research to understand why fat is in the tongue. We use this muscle to talk, breath, and eat. You should also know whether some diets or exercises help lose fat in the tongue.
The main author of the study added: “We do not know whether fats are partly inherited or linked to obesity. However, I think the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea is very important.”