Background/objectives: It is unknown whether short sleep duration causatively contributes to weight gain. Studies investigating effects of partial sleep deprivation (PSD) on energy balance components report conflicting findings. Our objective was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of human intervention studies assessing the effects of PSD on energy intake (EI) and energy expenditure (EE).
Subjects/methods: EMBASE, Medline, Cochrane CENTRAL, Web of Science and Scopus were searched. Differences in EI and total EE following PSD compared with a control condition were generated using the inverse variance method with random-effects models. Secondary outcomes included macronutrient distribution and resting metabolic rate. Heterogeneity was quantified with the I2-statistic.
Results: Seventeen studies (n=496) were eligible for inclusion in the systematic review, and 11 studies (n=172) provided sufficient data to be included in meta-analyses. EI was significantly increased by 385 kcal (95% confidence interval: 252, 517; P<0.00001) following PSD compared with the control condition. We found no significant change in total EE or resting metabolic rate as a result of PSD. The observed increase in EI was accompanied by significantly higher fat and lower protein intakes, but no effect on carbohydrate intake.
Conclusions: The pooled effects of the studies with extractable data indicated that PSD resulted in increased EI with no effect on EE, leading to a net positive energy balance, which in the long term may contribute to weight gain.