Sleep duration and obesity among adults: a meta-analysis of prospective studies

Sleep Med. 2014 Dec;15(12):1456-62. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2014.07.018. Epub 2014 Sep 28.


Background: Results from longitudinal studies on sleep duration and incidence of obesity remain controversial.

Methods: PubMed and Web of Science updated on 20 February 2014 were searched for eligible publications. Pooled odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated using a random-effects model.

Results: Eleven published articles were included, involving 197,906 participants for short sleep duration and 164,016 participants for long sleep duration. Compared with the normal sleep duration, the pooled OR for obesity was 1.45 (95% CI, 1.25-1.67) for the short sleep duration overall. After removing the three studies that had strong effects on heterogeneity, the pooled OR was 1.25 (95% CI, 1.14-1.38). The positive association was consistent among all subgroups analysis except in the European group (OR, 1.45; 95% CI, 0.79-2.64). No significant association was found between long sleep duration and risk of obesity overall (OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.98-1.15) and in subgroup analysis.

Conclusion: This meta-analysis indicated that short sleep duration was significantly associated with incidence of obesity, whereas long sleep duration had no effect on future obesity among adults.

Keywords: Adults; Epidemiology; Long sleep duration; Meta-analysis; Obesity; Short sleep duration.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / etiology*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Sleep Deprivation / complications*
  • Sleep Deprivation / physiopathology