In short, sleep apnoea is when you constantly stop and start breathing in your sleep (without knowing) and is typically caused by obstruction of your airways – obesity, deviated septums, enlarged tonsils can all contribute. You'll also often snore as well as a result of your airways being obstructed.
“Most clinicians, and even experts in the sleep apnea world, have not typically focused on fat in the tongue for treating sleep apnea,” says co-author Richard Schwab, co-medical director of Penn Sleep Centre.
“Now that we know tongue fat is a risk factor and that sleep apnea improves when tongue fat is reduced, we have established a unique therapeutic target that we’ve never had before,” he told Fast Company.
And apparently, your diet can impact the size of the organ in your mouth.
Schwab suggests that too much fat can change the width of your tongue: “Future studies could be designed to explore whether certain low-fat diets are better than others in reducing tongue fat, and whether cold therapies, like those used to reduce stomach fat, might be applied to reducing tongue fat.”
Better get the measuring tape out...