Sleep disorders and weight gain

Posted by Melissa Callaghan on

There are more than 80 distinct sleep disorders listed on the International Classification of Sleep Disorders. The most common form of sleep disorder is Obstructive sleep apnoea and occurs in about 2-4% of adults. A large proportion of individuals which includes approximately 93% of women and 82% of men may have this and remain undiagnosed.

Other sleep disorders that are common include sleep disordered breathing, sleep related movement disorders, insomnia (10-13% of the population), restless legs syndrome (4-29% of the population).

The statistics of sleep disorders are increasing and a contributing factor to the rise in prevalence of sleep disorders is the increase in prevalence of increased weight. Having a BMI greater that 25kg/m2 actually increases the chances of a concomitant sleep disorder by 20%. Research is now connecting the dots to other health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus. Both of which have connections with sleep disorders and weight gain.

How are sleep disorders and obesity connected?

It can be a situation of which comes first the chicken or the egg. Getting too much sleep or not enough sleep or even irregular sleep patterns can lead to an increase in fat deposits. Also increased weight can lead to sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnoea.

Being deprived of sleep can increase cravings for junk food including fast food, take away as well as lollies, chocolates and savoury treats like crisps. The chances of ordering a pizza than cooking a decent meal with lovely green veggies are increased with sleep deprivation.

Also check out this blog post of sugar addiction and pain

And this one on sleep deprivation


What can be done?

When assessing patients the day time patterns of stress and how sleep is affected are assessed first.

The causes of the weight gain are also assessed. Eg is it stress related? Is it medication related? Is it caused by diet?

An individualised treatment plan will focus in these areas to make improvements through individualised herbal formulas and nutrition. A full case history is taken to find the puzzle pieces connected to presenting signs and symptoms.

For example is fatigue caused by glandular fever in the past?


Getting to the bottom of what is going on and finding the root cause can get you back on the pathway to better health and happiness.

Who am I?

I am a Bachelor qualified Naturopath who specialises in improving metabolic processes in the body. Major areas for improvement include gut, thyroid, kidney, skin and liver health. Conditions such as hypothyroidism, fatty liver, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, & irritable bowel conditions. I help my patients by giving them symptomatic relief while working on repairing the underlying causes of metabolic stress and waste accumulation. Patients experience amazing results which are seen in their blood tests with improved thyroid markers, cholesterol, and liver markers.  As well as lower blood pressure and see relief from improved gastrointestinal symptoms like the ones that mean you need to know where every single toilet is before you leave the house. 

Melissa Callaghan ND, BHSc, BTeach
Clinical Naturopath


To book an appointment click here 



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