Short average sleep duration and short weekend catch-up sleep (CUS) duration is associated with increased risk for obesity, according to study results presented at World Sleep 2019, held September 20 to 25, in Vancouver, Canada.

The goal of this cross-sectional study was to assess the sleep patterns, including timing and duration of sleep, and identify sleep-related parameters that might be associated with increased risk for obesity among adolescents.

The researchers focused on adolescents, aged 12-18 years, and assessed their sleep habits and body mass index using questionnaires. They collected data on sleep duration, weekend CUS duration, mid-sleep time on free days corrected for oversleep on free days (MSFsc), and social jetlag.

The study cohort included 22,906 adolescents (aged 12-18 years, mean age 15.2±1.7 years, 50.9% males). The prevalence of obesity, defined as BMI ≥ 95 percentile, was 6.0% (95% CI, 5.7 to 6.3%).

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Average sleep duration was 7.1±1.2 hours and linearly decreased with age (P <.001). While there was no difference in MSFsc or social jetlag between obese and non-obese adolescents (P =.256 and P =.269, respectively), both average sleep duration and weekend CUS duration (P =.001 and P <.001, respectively) of obese adolescents were shorter than that of non-obese control.

On multiple logistic regression analysis, which was performed to determine sleep-related parameters that are associated with obesity and BMI, there was a significant association between obesity and short average sleep duration (odds ratio [OR], 0.91; 95% CI, 0.86 to 0.96), short weekend CUS duration (OR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.89 to 0.95), and male gender (OR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.61 to 2.04).

The negative correlations between BMI and average sleep duration (β, -0.15; 95% CI, -0.19 to -0.11) and weekend CUS (β, -0.09; 95% CI -0.11 to -0.06) were confirmed on multiple linear regression analysis.

“Our observations suggest that the insufficient amount of sleep rather than the sleep timing or its misalignment may play a pivotal role in the weight-gain processes in adolescence,” concluded the researchers.

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Reference

Sunwoo JS, Moon HJ, Yang KI, Kim JH, KOO DL, Hong SB. Sleep duration rather than sleep timing is associated with obesity in adolescents. Abstract presented at World Sleep 2019; September 20-25, 2019; Vancouver, Canada.

This article originally appeared on Neurology Advisor