Sleep-obesity relation: underlying mechanisms and consequences for treatment

Obes Rev. 2017 Feb:18 Suppl 1:34-39. doi: 10.1111/obr.12499.


Short sleep duration has been associated with obesity in numerous epidemiological studies. However, such association studies cannot establish evidence of causality. Clinical intervention studies, on the other hand, can provide information on a causal effect of sleep duration on markers of weight gain: energy intake and energy expenditure. Herein is an overview of the science related to the impact of sleep restriction, in the context of clinical intervention studies, on energy intake, energy expenditure and body weight. Additionally, studies that evaluate the impact of sleep restriction on weight loss and the impact of sleep extension on appetite are discussed. Information to date suggests that weight management is hindered when attempted in the context of sleep restriction, and the public should be made aware of the negative consequences of sleep restriction for weight regulation.

Keywords: energy balance; obesity; sleep.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Appetite
  • Energy Intake
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Humans
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Sleep Deprivation / complications
  • Sleep Deprivation / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Deprivation / therapy
  • Sleep*
  • Weight Gain