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Stop Snoring to Prevent Metabolic Syndrome

Stop Snoring to Prevent Metabolic Syndrome

If your snoring makes your bedroom sound like Grand Central Station at rush hour, you might have more than a sleep problem. Loud snoring, trouble falling asleep, and waking up unrefreshed means you're at high risk for syndrome X. That's not a new James Bond thriller. It's another name for metabolic syndrome, which puts you at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Even though one in four adults in the U.S. has metabolic syndrome, many don't know it. Until now, the top metabolic syndrome symptoms were having three out of these five risk factors: bulging belly fat, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, and low HDL (healthy) cholesterol. Now you can add sleep problems to the list of early warning signs. Serious snoring doubles your risk for metabolic syndrome, and difficulty falling asleep increases it almost as much.

Fortunately, you can stop metabolic syndrome in its tracks. Here's how:

  • Start walking and lose weight. Walk for 30 minutes every day. Losing 10% of the weight you've gained since age 18 reduces your metabolic syndrome risk by 30%. Losing weight also helps you stop snoring.
  • Go for healthy fats. Choose polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats (e.g., canola oil, walnut oil, olive oil, and peanut oil) to boost your HDL cholesterol and lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol.
  • Eliminate added sugars and syrups. These increase your risk of metabolic syndrome and clog arteries.
  • See your doctor. Medications are available that can get you on a healthy new track.

Tossing and turning in bed lately? Find out if these 7 bad habits are stealing your sleep.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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