sleep and obesity

Last edited 04/2022 and last reviewed 04/2022

Sleep and obesity

Insufficient sleep duration has been increasingly recognized as an important risk factor for obesity (1):

  • cohort sleep duration has been associated with obesity in numerous epidemiological studies
    • however, such association studies cannot establish evidence of causality
    • clinical intervention studies, on the other hand, can provide information on a causal effect of sleep duration on markers of weight gain: energy intake and energy expenditure
      • a randomised controlled trial (n=80 adults, habitual sleep <6.5 hrs/night) found 2-week sleep extension (SE) intervention (extend bedtime to 8.5 hrs) reduced daily energy intake by about 270 kcal vs vs control (p<0.001)(2)
        • due to no significant effect on total energy expenditure, weight decreased in SE group
        • findings suggest that improving and maintaining adequate sleep duration could reduce weight and be a viable intervention for obesity prevention and weight loss programs