Longitudinal associations between facets of sleep and adiposity in youth

Sarah LeMay-Russell, Natasha A. Schvey, Nichole R. Kelly, Megan N. Parker, Eliana Ramirez, Lisa M. Shank, Meghan E. Byrne, Taylor N. Swanson, Esther A. Kwarteng, Loie M. Faulkner, Kweku G. Djan, Anna Zenno, Sheila M. Brady, Shanna B. Yang, Susan Z. Yanovski, Marian Tanofsky-Kraff*, Jack A. Yanovski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: Beyond sleep duration, other facets of sleep such as variability and timing may be associated with obesity risk in youth. However, data are limited. Using a longitudinal design, this study tested whether multiple facets of sleep were associated with fat mass gain over 1 year. Methods: A convenience sample of non-treatment-seeking youth (age 8-17 years) wore actigraphy monitors for 14 days. Average weekly sleep duration, within-person sleep duration variability, weekend catch-up sleep, bedtime and wake time shift, social jet lag, bedtime, wake time, and sleep midpoint were calculated. The association of each facet of baseline sleep with 1-year fat mass, adjusting for baseline fat mass and height, was examined. Results: A total of 137 youths (54.0% female; mean [SD], age 12.5 [2.6] years; 28.4% non-Hispanic Black or African American; baseline fat mass = 15.3 [8.9] kg; 1-year fat mass = 17.0 [10.0] kg; 28.5% with baseline overweight or obesity) were studied. Wake time (p = 0.03) and sleep midpoint (p = 0.02) were inversely associated with 1-year fat mass, such that earlier wake time and midpoint were associated with higher 1-year fat mass. No other facet of sleep was significantly associated with 1-year fat mass (p > 0.09). Conclusions: Using objective measures, youth with earlier wake times and sleep midpoints had greater gains in fat mass. Additional research is needed to determine whether sleep timing may be a modifiable target to prevent pediatric obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1760-1769
Number of pages10
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


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