Association between Reduced Sleep and Weight Gain in Women

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.
American Journal of Epidemiology (Impact Factor: 5.23). 12/2006; 164(10):947-54. DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwj280
Source: PubMed


Physiologic studies suggest that sleep restriction has metabolic effects that predispose to weight gain. The authors investigated the association between self-reported usual sleep duration and subsequent weight gain in the Nurses' Health Study. The 68,183 women who reported habitual sleep duration in 1986 were followed for 16 years. In analyses adjusted for age and body mass index, women sleeping 5 hours or less gained 1.14 kg (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.49, 1.79) more than did those sleeping 7 hours over 16 years, and women sleeping 6 hours gained 0.71 kg (95% CI: 0.41, 1.00) more. The relative risks of a 15-kg weight gain were 1.32 (95% CI: 1.19, 1.47) and 1.12 (95% CI: 1.06, 1.19) for those sleeping 5 and 6 hours, respectively. The relative risks for incident obesity (body mass index: >30 kg/m(2)) were 1.15 (95% CI: 1.04, 1.26) and 1.06 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.11). These associations remained significant after inclusion of important covariates and were not affected by adjustment for physical activity or dietary consumption. These data suggest that short sleep duration is associated with a modest increase in future weight gain and incident obesity. Further research is needed to understand the mechanisms by which sleep duration may affect weight.

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Available from: Atul Malhotra, Nov 21, 2014
    • "Specifically, over a 16-year period, women sleeping 5 hr or less nightly gained 1.14 kg more than did those sleeping 7 hr per night. Women sleeping 6 hr gained 0.71 kg more than those sleeping 7 hr (Patel et al., 2006). This underscores the importance of adequate sleep as a protection against weight gain. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study describes sleep behaviors of U.S. college students (N = 1,252; 18-24 years old; 59% female) and examines associations of sleep duration with weight-related behaviors. More than one quarter of participants slept < 7 hr/night and had mean Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) scores indicating poor sleep quality. There were significant differences for all PSQI scales among sleep duration categories, < 7 hr (n = 344), 7-8 hr (n = 449), ≥ 8 hr (n = 459) sleep/night. Compared to those who slept ≥ 8 hr, those who slept < 8 hr had significantly more negative eating attitudes (2% higher), poorer internal regulation of food (4% lower), and greater binge eating (4% higher) scores. Findings advocate for health care professionals to evaluate sleep behaviors of college students during office visits and promote good sleep behaviors.
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    • "Lower sleep duration is correlated with weight and weight gain (with progressively higher weight gain with each hour less sleep than 7 hours per night), perpetuating the problem through the cycle of biochemical imbalances that arise as sleep worsens. This " perfect storm " seems to be a cycle that is difficult to break (Patel et al., 2006). Given the number of emotional, psychological, and behavioral factors and neuroendocrine disruptions for some BCSs contributing to gaining and maintaining overweight, it appears that a multi-factor approach to turn this tide is needed. "
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    • "Elevated afternoon cortisol levels have been associated with alterations in glucose metabolism and insulin resistance that could promote weight gain, visceral obesity and other features of the metabolic syndrome (Plat et al., 1999; Whitworth et al., 2005; Anagnostis et al., 2009; Buxton et al., 2010; Matthews et al., 2012). Thus, the failure of women during the follicular phase to show the usual steep fall in cortisol levels during the afternoon after sleep restriction could contribute to findings of higher body weights in those with short sleep in several prospective epidemiological studies (Hasler et al., 2004; Patel et al., 2006). One interpretation of the pattern of cortisol levels shown across the day after sleep restriction during the follicular phase is that the daily rhythm of cortisol secretion is dampened by sleep loss, reducing the morning peak and attenuating the afternoon fall in levels. "
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