Associations of weekday and weekend sleep with children’s reported eating in the absence of hunger

Sarah LeMay-Russell, Marian Tanofsky-Kraff, Natasha A. Schvey, Nichole R. Kelly, Lisa M. Shank, Sarah J. Mi, Manuela Jaramillo, Sophie Ramirez, Deborah R. Altman, Sarah G. Rubin, Meghan E. Byrne, Natasha L. Burke, Elisabeth K. Davis, Miranda M. Broadney, Sheila M. Brady, Susan Z. Yanovski, Jack A. Yanovski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Insuffcient average sleep duration has been inconsistently associated with poor diet and obesity risks in youth. Inconsistencies in findings across studies may be due to a general failure to examine associations in weekday versus weekend sleep. We hypothesized that greater variations in weekday and weekend sleep duration would be associated with more disinhibited eating behaviors, which, in turn, might be involved in the relationship between sleep and weight. We, therefore, examined, among healthy, non-treatment seeking youth, the associations of average weekly, weekend, and weekday sleep duration with eating in the absence of hunger (EAH), a disinhibited eating behavior associated with disordered eating and obesity. Sleep was assessed via actigraphy for 14 days. Participants completed a self-report measure of EAH. Adiposity was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Linear regressions were used to test the associations of sleep duration with EAH and the associations of sleep duration and EAH, with fat mass. Among 123 participants (8–17 years, 52.0% female, and 30.9% with overweight), there was no significant association between average weekly sleep and EAH. Further, there was no significant association among average weekly sleep duration or EAH and fat mass. However, average weekday sleep was negatively associated, and average weekend sleep was positively associated, with EAH (ps < 0.02). Weekend “catch-up” sleep (the difference between weekend and weekday sleep) was positively associated with EAH (p < 0.01). Findings indicate that shorter weekday sleep and greater weekend “catch-up” sleep are associated with EAH, which may place youth at risk for the development of excess weight gain over time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1658
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Adiposity
  • Child and adolescent
  • Eating in the absence of hunger
  • Fat mass
  • Sleep


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