T Nation

Too Much Muscle?

@CT:

Do you find that if you gain too much muscle, your sleep quality suffers?

I have gained what I think to be 5-7lbs of really solid mass, mostly in my shoulder girdle. But it seems my sleep suffers almost apnea like symptoms.

Just curious if this has to do with body not being able to oxygenate enough, tight muscles or other…

Thanks,
M

Oh yes! In fact that is quite common among bodybuilders. It is affected especially by upper body mass. It makes rib cage expension during nightly breathing harder and also can constrict the airways.

When I got up to 252 I started to suffer from bad sleep apnea… because of that I actually had to sleep on an incline for a while. I also fell asleep during the day, even when driving (happened twice) and I couldn’t watch a whole movie without falling asleep.

I also have chronic stuffy nose issues, but when I’m heavier it is much more pronounced.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
Oh yes! In fact that is quite common among bodybuilders. It is affected especially by upper body mass. It makes rib cage expension during nightly breathing harder and also can constrict the airways.

When I got up to 252 I started to suffer from bad sleep apnea… because of that I actually had to sleep on an incline for a while. I also fell asleep during the day, even when driving (happened twice) and I couldn’t watch a whole movie without falling asleep.

I also have chronic stuffy nose issues, but when I’m heavier it is much more pronounced.[/quote]

Any tips or advice?

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
Oh yes! In fact that is quite common among bodybuilders. It is affected especially by upper body mass. It makes rib cage expension during nightly breathing harder and also can constrict the airways.

When I got up to 252 I started to suffer from bad sleep apnea… because of that I actually had to sleep on an incline for a while. I also fell asleep during the day, even when driving (happened twice) and I couldn’t watch a whole movie without falling asleep.

I also have chronic stuffy nose issues, but when I’m heavier it is much more pronounced.[/quote]
WOW I have all of those, never thought it was related to that though…

[quote]Mutsanah wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
Oh yes! In fact that is quite common among bodybuilders. It is affected especially by upper body mass. It makes rib cage expension during nightly breathing harder and also can constrict the airways.

When I got up to 252 I started to suffer from bad sleep apnea… because of that I actually had to sleep on an incline for a while. I also fell asleep during the day, even when driving (happened twice) and I couldn’t watch a whole movie without falling asleep.

I also have chronic stuffy nose issues, but when I’m heavier it is much more pronounced.[/quote]

Any tips or advice?[/quote]

Lose weight… well that or get a sleep apnea breathing machine for when you sleep. It is not only about muscle weight, but overall bodyweight. So if you drop 10-15lbs of fat you should be fine.

Only a few choices really if you have sleep apnea… 1. lose the upper body mass 2. sleep on an incline 3. use the cpap machine 3. get surgery

I used the cpap machine for about 10 years and hated it. I got surgery…(had a terribly deviated septum, chronically infected sinuses,
very thick upper palate, and a very large uvula. All of it was fixed and I’m cured, made a huge difference.

About the only other thing that can go wrong is your tongue falls backward and blocks your airway. And that can be fixed too.

Get checked out by a good ear, nose, and throat, md.

[quote]GeorgeCulp wrote:

Get checked out by a good ear, nose, and throat, md.[/quote]

Good advice right there. Or, if you don’t have a relationship with an ENT, discuss your symptoms with your primary-care doctor. S/he can order a polysomnogram (PSG), aka a ‘sleep study.’ This test assesses your respiratory function, oxygenation, etc, while you sleep. If the test indicates you have OSA, your doc can refer you to a sleep specialist to discuss management options.

I don’t suffer breathing problem, but what I hate when I’m at my heaviest is that I always end up compressing nerves in my arm and waking up with a numb/paralyzed arm! No nerve gets spared, it’s mostly the ulnar, but sometimes median and radial as well, any side I’m lying on.

[quote]CPerfringens wrote:
I don’t suffer breathing problem, but what I hate when I’m at my heaviest is that I always end up compressing nerves in my arm and waking up with a numb/paralyzed arm! No nerve gets spared, it’s mostly the ulnar, but sometimes median and radial as well, any side I’m lying on. [/quote] yeah this has been getting worse for me lol Have the hang the arm over the side of the bed when it happens haha

EyeDentist is correct. You absolutely must have a “sleep study” done to determine “if for sure” you have sleep apnea and if so, how bad it is. (I stopped breathing for up to 45 seconds, and about 200 times a night). Sleep apnea is very serious and besides making you feel crappy during the day it can indeed shorten your life.

In terms of options don’t necessarily take one doctor’s word for what needs to be done. If you need the cpap machine then you for sure should use it. It is indeed an instant fix. Sleep apnea is a mechanical problem. However, if you can’t stand the machine investigate surgery. It took me 3 MD’s before I found one who really addressed all my problems.

FYI - As I said above sleep apnea is a mechanical problem. Here’s what I mean…

Your body is only willing to work just so hard to pull in air when you sleep. Its not like when you are awake and you can breath harder if you want. When you have air way resistances such has upper chest mass pressing against your airway, deviated septum, large pallet, etc, they create added resistance for the lungs to pull air through. When the total resistance of all these “partial” obstructions is greater than the effort the lungs are willing to put out you stop breathing.

The cpap machine (continous positive airway pressure) is like a little turbo for your lungs adding pressure to the air going in which in essence is like getting your lungs to work harder (but they don’t have to because the machine is doing the work)

I hope that’s clear. If you have any questions please ask.

[quote]CPerfringens wrote:
I don’t suffer breathing problem, but what I hate when I’m at my heaviest is that I always end up compressing nerves in my arm and waking up with a numb/paralyzed arm! No nerve gets spared, it’s mostly the ulnar, but sometimes median and radial as well, any side I’m lying on. [/quote]

I have actually found that this can be from tight scalene muscles.

Stretch those very well right before bed as well as some chin retractions against the pillow. Usually 60 secs per direction - little to no numbness for me when doing this.

I’m glad I came across this thread… My issue is most likely not due to excessive weight(as I’m a skinny bastard still IMO) but as soon as my insurance kicks in, I’m heading to a DR to get this uvula thing fixed! My nose is always stuffed, uvula always enlarged, when I wake up my mouth is always incredibly dry.

This thread reminded me that I don’t have to put up with that, and hopefully I’ll be able to get it fixed permanently. Thanks guys.