If you've struggled with obesity throughout your life, you've mostly likely talked to medical professionals who act as if maintaining a healthy weight should be simple. If you've had people look at your weight and then immediately move to talking about diet and exercise, without considering any other factors, then you can understand how frustrating this can be.

At Prana Healthcare, we understand that obesity is often a much more complicated condition. While eating healthy foods in reasonable portions and getting regular exercise is obviously important to a healthy body, if you're already doing this and still struggling with weight problems, it's time to look at other factors.

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Studies have shown that being sleep deprived causes our bodies to pack on pounds in a variety of ways. Poor sleep can change our hunger hormones, leading to a decrease in Leptin and an increase in Ghrelin. These changes stimulate one's appetite, telling the body to produce fat and to grow.

It was found that about one quarter of people are hungrier after a poor night of sleep; specifically, a third craved high carbohydrates and fatty foods when they were tired. These foods give us a boost in energy but leave us feeling hungrier sooner. These feelings of hunger lead to overeating.


One study in the UK specifically showed that people who lost even 30 minutes of sleep on weekdays, were more likely to develop Type II diabetes and struggle to maintain a healthy body weight. Moreover, sleeping in on weekends to relieve this sleep debt isn't enough to compensate the risk.

The sleep-weight correlation is not restricted to adults. Researchers have found that children as young as two years old can see dramatic changes in their weight if they do not get adequate sleep. All too often, parents dismiss poor sleep in their children as just one of those things. Even if they reach out to their pediatrician, not all general practitioners are educated enough about the connections between sleep, metabolism and weight, to refer them to a sleep specialist when necessary.


One study surveyed over 100,000 women to determine whether there was a correlation or causation between the amount of light in one's bedroom, and obesity. The study showed a clear correlation where the women whose bedrooms were lighter were also more likely to be overweight or obese.


When you see a sleep specialist, one of the many ways that we look for sleep problems is to talk about the environment in which you sleep in, as well as your sleep hygiene. We can work with you to make sure that your bedroom is an ideal place to sleep, and get a good night's rest.

In Scotland in 2011, an expert for the NHS stated that Scotland had seen a 25% increase in the number of sleep disorders being referred to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, and that roughly 80% of the patients being treated were overweight.


If you are struggling to maintain a healthy weight, and managing calories is not making a dent, it is time to look at your sleep. Dr Rahul Kakkar of Prana Health is a sleep specialist who is also certified in obesity medicine, making him an ideal person to help you determine the factors that are affecting your health. Contact us today to find out how to improve your life in crucial ways.