WESTCHESTER, Ill. - Both short and long sleeping times predict an increased risk of future body weight and fat gain in adults, according to a study published in the April 1 issue of the journal SLEEP.
The study, authored by Jean-Philippe Chaput, of Laval University in Quebec, Canada, focused on 276 adults between 21-64 years of age, whose body composition measurements and self-reported sleep duration were determined. Changes in fatty indices were compared between short (five to six hours), average (seven to eight hours) and long (nine to 10 hours) duration sleeper groups.
According to the results, after adjustment for age, sex, and baseline body mass index, short duration sleepers gained 1.98 kg more and long duration sleepers gained 1.58 kg more than did average duration sleepers over six years. Short and long duration sleepers were 35 percent and 25 percent more likely to experience a 5 kg weight gain, respectively, as compared with average duration sleepers over six years. The risk of developing obesity was elevated for short and long duration sleepers as compared with average duration sleepers, with 27 percent and 21 percent increases in risk, respectively.
"Our study provides evidence that both short and long sleeping times predict an increased risk of future body weight and fat gain in adults. Furthermore, these results emphasize the need to add sleep duration to the list of environmental factors that are prevalent in our society and that contribute to weight gain and obesity. Since preventing obesity is important, a pragmatic approach adding sleep hygiene advice to encouragement towards a healthy diet and physical activity may help manage the obesity epidemic," said Chaput.
It is recommended that adults get between seven and eight hours of nightly sleep.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) offers the following tips on how to get a good night's sleep:
- Follow a consistent bedtime routine.
- Establish a relaxing setting at bedtime.
- Get a full night's sleep every night.
- Avoid foods or drinks that contain caffeine, as well as any medicine that has a stimulant, prior to bedtime.
- Do not bring your worries to bed with you.
- Do not go to bed hungry, but don't eat a big meal before bedtime either.
- Avoid any rigorous exercise within six hours of your bedtime.
- Make your bedroom quiet, dark and a little bit cool.
- Get up at the same time every morning.
Those who suspect that they might be suffering from a sleep disorder are encouraged to consult with their primary care physician or a sleep specialist.
SLEEP is the official journal of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC, a joint venture of the AASM and the Sleep Research Society.
SleepEducation.com, a patient education Web site created by the AASM, provides information about various sleep disorders, the forms of treatment available, recent news on the topic of sleep, sleep studies that have been conducted and a listing of sleep facilities.
For a copy of this article, entitled, "The Association Between Sleep Duration and Weight Gain in Adults: A 6-Year Prospective Study from the Quebec Family Study", or to arrange an interview with an AASM spokesperson regarding this study, please contact Jim Arcuri, public relations coordinator, at (708)492-0930, ext. 9317, or email@example.com.
SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies and the world's largest annual gathering of sleep scientists and sleep medicine professionals, will take place in Baltimore, Maryland, from June 9-12, 2008. SLEEP 2008 will bring together an international body of 5,000 leading researchers and clinicians, who will present and discuss over 1,100 new findings and medical developments related to sleep and sleep disorders. The deadline to register is Friday, May 30, 2008. Contact Jim Arcuri at (708)492-0930, ext. 9317, or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to register for a free press pass. More details, including the program schedule and a list of invited lecturers, are available at www.SleepMeeting.org.