Change in sleep duration and visceral fat accumulation over 6 years in adults

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 May;22(5):E9-12. doi: 10.1002/oby.20701. Epub 2014 Feb 11.


Objective: To investigate the relationship between change in sleep duration and long-term visceral adiposity change in adults.

Methods: A longitudinal analysis was conducted on 293 participants, aged 18-65 years, followed for a mean of 6.0 ± 0.9 years. At baseline and year 6, sleep duration was self-reported and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) assessed using computed tomography. Multivariable modeling was used to examine the association between change in sleep duration and VAT change over the 6-year time period, with adjustments made for age, sex, change in BMI, personal characteristics, energy intake, and physical activity.

Results: Participants gained an average of 19.2 ± 37.3 cm(2) in VAT over the follow-up period. Baseline short (≤6 h/day) and long (≥9 h/day) sleepers gained significantly more VAT than those reporting sleeping 7-8 hours a night (23.4 and 20.2 cm(2) vs. 14.1 cm(2) , respectively, P < 0.05). Using continuous data, we observed that the change in sleep duration was not associated with VAT change. However, a change in sleep duration from ≤6 h/day to 7-8 h/day was associated with 6 cm(2) fewer VAT gain after multivariable adjustment (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: A spontaneous change in sleep duration (from a short to an adequate duration) is independently and inversely associated with long-term VAT accumulation.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Young Adult