1. In this study, individualized sleep hygiene counseling was sufficient to extend bed duration in participants with habitual insufficient sleep duration.

2. Furthermore, extension in sleep duration was associated with decreased daily energy intake and weight loss.

Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)

Obesity is a rising public health concern affecting both adults and children. Habitual sleep insufficiency (<7 hours) has been associated with adverse health consequences and has also been shown to be a risk factor for obesity. However, it is not clear if extending sleep can directly modify energy intake and weight in adults who are overweight.

This randomized control trial looked at the effect of sleep extension on daily energy intake and weight in a group of 80 adults (21-40 years old) who were overweight (BMI of 25-29.9) and were habitually sleeping less than 6.5 hours per night for the past 6 months. Participants were randomized to either individual sleep hygiene counseling aimed to extend sleep to 8.5 hours, or their usual habitual sleep schedule (control group). Sleep-wake patterns were continuously monitor by wrist actigraphy. Those with obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, or working night shift were excluded. The primary outcome was change in daily energy intake after two-weeks.

Results demonstrated that the intervention resulted in extension of sleep by an average of 1.2 hours. Compared to the control group, the group with sleep extension had decreased daily energy intake (-270kcal) and reduced weight (-0.87kg). However, this study was limited by the short study period (2-week) and small sample size. Therefore, whether the changes in sleep duration and consequently, changes in decreased energy intake and weight, can be sustained over time and in participants from more diverse socioeconomic backgrounds will need to be studied. Nonetheless, the result of this study suggest the potential benefit of encouraging sufficient sleep as a lifestyle intervention for obesity. 

Click to read the study in JAMA Internal Medicine

Image: PD

©2022 2 Minute Medicine, Inc. All rights reserved. No works may be reproduced without expressed written consent from 2 Minute Medicine, Inc. Inquire about licensing here. No article should be construed as medical advice and is not intended as such by the authors or by 2 Minute Medicine, Inc.