Ask SleepBetter: CPAP Weight Gain

Have you wondered about something related to sleep, but just can’t find the answer?  Lots of people do, and that’s why we created Ask SleepBetter.  You can ask your own question on the SleepBetter Facebook Page, or by using our Ask SleepBetter contact form.  We will try to answer as many questions as possible, but we are not able to answer queries about physical issues or medicinal issues.  Those should be addressed face-to-face with a physician.

Today’s question is about a potential side effect of sleep apnea treatment:

“Is it true that CPAP machines can cause users to gain weight?”

-Fran F. (via Facebook)

We don’t address CPAP machine usage very often, since they are prescribed by doctors, but we like to help with questions to Ask SleepBetter when we can.

The short answer on this one is “possibly.”  There was a study published in 2013 that indicated slight weight gain can be a side effect of CPAP usage.  The weight gain, however, was about 3/4 of a pound over the six month study.  That’s hardly a significant gain, and one that most of us wouldn’t notice.  Also, doctors really aren’t sure what caused it.

CPAP machines are used to treat sleep apnea, a disorder that causes the patient to stop breathing for periods of time while sleeping.  We understand any weight gain due to CPAP treatments can be a concern, since being overweight is one cause of sleep apnea.  But, given the potential problems that could come from not treating apnea, the slight weight gain is an acceptable risk.