Thursday, May 14, 2015

How Does Sleeping Pattern Affect Body Weight?

Previous studies have linked sleep deprivation to obesity as well as many medical disorders including diabetes and high blood pressure, which are also risk factors for heart disease and stroke. A recent study, however, claimed that sleep variations could as well be bad for the waistline.

It is not how long one sleeps that matters, it is about day-to-day variations in how long one sleeps. Researchers from Penn State University College of Medicine presented their paper during the EPI/Lifestyle 2015 Scientific Sessions organized by the American Heart Association (AHA) held between March 3 and 6 in San Diego. Teenagers who slept less or slept more than usual were found to eat more, and eat worse food.

Data of 342 teenagers from the Penn State Child Cohort follow-up study were used in the study. Participants, with an average age of 17, were asked to wear actigraph bracelets that tracked their cycles of activity and rest over 7 days so that how long they slept each night could be measured. They also answered a food frequency questionnaire to see how many calories and snacks, and how much protein, fat, and carbohydrates they regularly consumed in the previous year. The relationship between sleep duration, day-to-day sleep variations and food intake were then analyzed.

Results of their analysis, after adjusting for age, sex, race, and body mass index, indicated that teens slept on average just 7 hours a night. This was obviously less than 9 to 10 hours, as recommended by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Those who slept an hour less or an hour more than normal ate 201 more calories per day, ate about 6 grams more total fat and 32 grams more carbohydrates daily, 60 percent higher chance of nighttime snacking on school nights, and 100 higher chance of nighttime munching on weekends. The teens were found to sleep more on weekends than weekdays.

According to researchers, it is possible that getting less sleep might make a teenager more sedentary the next day so they become a couch potato, snacking in front of the television. Meanwhile, it is likely that shifts in sleep patterns result in a hormonal imbalance, causing these teens to eat more.

Sleep duration itself might matter more only if the teens were to be extremely sleep deprived, for instance, sleeping only 4 hours nightly. But it is more important to have a regular sleep pattern rather than sleeping longer one day and shorter on another. Hopefully, these findings might help better understand how obesity develops among young people.


  1. Great Post and Nice Article.I like it.Thanks for sharing.

  2. Like this blog post. Thank you for sharing such a great blog.

  3. It's really good to know that the sleeping pattern also affects our heart's health. I was not aware with this fact till now. From today i will sleep in right pattern. thanks for sharing this post. it's really good for me..