Sleep & Circadian Health are Associated with Mood & Behavior in Adolescents with Overweight/Obesity

Behav Sleep Med. Jul-Aug 2020;18(4):550-559. doi: 10.1080/15402002.2019.1629444. Epub 2019 Jun 20.


Objective/background: Rates of overweight/obesity and insufficient/delayed sleep are high among adolescents and are also unique risk factors for mood/behavior difficulties. This study aimed to evaluate relationships between sleep/circadian health and mood/behavior in a cohort of adolescents with overweight/obesity.

Participants: Twenty-two adolescents (16.4 ± 1.1 years) with overweight/obesity attending high school completed in the study.

Methods: Participants completed one week of home sleep monitoring (actigraphy), questionnaires assessing chronotype (diurnal preference; Morningness/Eveningness Scale for Children) and mood/behavior (Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaire), and had in-laboratory salivary melatonin sampling on a Thursday or Friday during the academic year.

Results: Linear regressions revealed later weekday bedtime and shorter weekday time in bed and sleep duration were associated with worse mood/behavior scores. Shorter duration of melatonin secretion and greater "eveningness" were also associated with worse mood/behavior scores.

Conclusions: Short and late sleep, shorter melatonin secretion, and eveningness chronotype are associated with worse mood/behavior symptoms in a cohort of adolescents with overweight/obesity. Clinicians should assess for both sleep and mood/behavior symptoms and further research is needed to evaluate the impact of improved sleep on mood/behavior in adolescents with overweight/obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Affect*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / psychology*
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Overweight / complications*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology*