Does inadequate sleep play a role in vulnerability to obesity?

Section of Pulmonary/Critical Care, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Illinois 60622, USA.
American Journal of Human Biology (Impact Factor: 2.34). 01/2012; 24(3):361-71. DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.22219
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The prevalence of obesity is increasing rapidly worldwide, which is cause for concern because obesity increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, reduces life expectancy, and impairs quality of life. A better understanding of the risk factors for obesity is therefore a critical global health concern, and human biologists can play an important role in identifying these risk factors in various populations. The objective of this review is to present the evidence that inadequate sleep may be a novel risk factor associated with increased vulnerability to obesity and associated cardiometabolic disease. Experimental studies have found that short-term sleep restriction is associated with impaired glucose metabolism, dysregulation of appetite, and increased blood pressure. Observational studies have observed cross-sectional associations between short sleep duration (generally <6 h per night) and increased body mass index or obesity, prevalent diabetes, and prevalent hypertension. Some studies also reported an association between self-reported long sleep duration (generally >8 h per night) and cardiometabolic disease. A few prospective studies have found a significant increased risk of weight gain, incident diabetes, and incident hypertension associated with inadequate sleep. Given the potential link between inadequate sleep and obesity, a critical next step is to identify the social, cultural, and environmental determinants of sleep, which would help to identify vulnerable populations. Future human biology research should consider variation in sleep characteristics among different populations and determine whether the associations between sleep and obesity observed in Western populations persist elsewhere.

1 Bookmark
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim was to estimate the prevalence of, and identify independent risk factors for, Advanced (ASPD) and Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder (DSPD) among Māori (indigenous New Zealanders) and non-Māori adults using a self-report questionnaire. The Munich Chronotype Questionnaire was mailed to a stratified sample of 9100 adults (5100 Māori and 4000 non-Māori) aged 20-59 years randomly selected from the electoral rolls (54% response rate). Different definitions for ASPD and DSPD were developed using combinations of symptoms including self-reported bed and rising times, current chronotype, and a desire to change sleep schedule. Logistic regression models were used to model the likelihood of reporting ASPD or DSPD separately after adjusting for ethnicity (Māori versus non-Māori), sex (males versus females), age (in decades), socio-economic deprivation (NZDep2006 deciles) and employment status (unemployed, night work versus employed with no night work). The prevalence of ASPD ranged from 0.25% to 7.13% whereas the prevalence of DSPD was 1.51 to 8.90% depending on the definition used. The prevalence of ASPD was higher among men and increased with age. The prevalence of DSPD was higher among those living in more deprived areas and decreased with age. After controlling for ethnicity, gender, age, socio-economic deprivation and employment status, people with ASPD were more likely to report excessive daytime sleepiness, whereas those with DSPD were more likely to report poor or fair self-rated health. Reporting ASPD and DSPD were associated with self-reported night work. In this large sleep timing survey, we found no differences in the prevalence of self-identified ASPD and DSPD between Maori and non-Maori. This has implications for the development and provision of sleep health services and strategies for managing the significant impact of work patterns on sleep.
    Chronobiology International 02/2014; · 4.35 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper reviews recent work investigating the influence of sleep disturbances on maternal hyperglycemia, particularly gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). The incidence and prevalence of hyperglycemia are increasing worldwide, which is cause for concern because GDM and even mild hyperglycemia are associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. A better understanding of sleep-related risk factors for maternal hyperglycemia is an important health matter. Evidence demonstrates associations between sleep disturbances, especially sleep-disordered breathing, and hyperglycemia, but causal effects and the underlying mechanisms linking these conditions have not been fully elucidated. Subjective sleep assessments show associations between sleep disturbances and maternal hyperglycemia. There are, however, few studies using objective measures to support these findings. Large prospective studies are required to examine causal relationships between sleep disturbances and maternal hyperglycemia. There is also a need for smaller mechanistic studies to understand the pathophysiology. Furthermore, interventional studies are required to address whether improvement of sleep parameters can prevent/decrease the risk of developing maternal hyperglycemia. Taken together, the data suggests that sleep disturbances during pregnancy are important to identify and manage in order to minimize maternal hyperglycemia and GDM, and improve maternal and fetal well-being.
    Current Diabetes Reports 02/2014; 14(2):459. · 3.17 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background & Objectives Shorter sleep is associated with higher weight in children, but little is known about the mechanisms. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that shorter sleep was associated with higher energy intake in early childhood.Methods Participants were 1303 families from the Gemini twin birth cohort. Sleep duration was measured using the Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire (BISQ) when the children were 16 months old. Total energy intake (kcal/day) and grams/day of fat, carbohydrate and protein were derived from 3-day diet diaries completed by parents when children were 21 months old.ResultsShorter nighttime sleep was associated with higher total energy intake (p for linear trend=0.005). Children sleeping <10 h consumed around 50 kcals/day more than those sleeping 11 to <12 h a night (the optimal sleep duration for children of this age). Differences in energy intake were maintained after adjustment for confounders. As a percentage of total energy intake, there were no significant differences in macronutrient intake by sleep duration. The association between sleep and weight was not significant at this age (P=0.13).Conclusions This study provides the first evidence that shorter nighttime sleep duration has a linear association with higher energy intake early in life. That the effect is observed before emergence of associations between sleep and weight indicates that differences in energy intake may be a mechanism through which sleep influences weight gain.International Journal of Obesity accepted article preview online, 26 March 2014; doi:10.1038/ijo.2014.50.
    International journal of obesity (2005) 03/2014; · 5.22 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 31, 2014