In today’s edition of La Presse, an article discusses a recent study by Dr. Chaput, which shows for the first time that shifting sleep duration from a short to a healthier length (from less than 6 hours per night to 7-8 hours per night) is associated with less fat mass gain in adults. These results are novel and suggest that sleep might provide a potential path for obesity prevention. To read the article (in French), please click here.
The study is also discussed on the blog, Dr. Sharma’s Obesity Notes.
The full citation to Dr. Chaput’s study is: Chaput JP, Després JP, Bouchard C, Tremblay A (2011). Longer sleep duration associates with lower adiposity gain in adult short sleepers. Int J Obes (Lond). Jun 7. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2011.110. [Epub ahead of print].
ABSTRACT: The objective of this longitudinal, observational study was to verify whether a favorable change in sleep duration over 6 years could impact objective indicators of adiposity in adults aged 18-64 years. Short-duration sleepers (6 h per day; n=43) at baseline were divided into two groups: (i) those who increased their sleep duration to a ‘healthy’ length of 7-8 h per day at year 6 (mean increase: 1.52±0.66 h per day; n=23); and (ii) those who maintained their short sleep duration habits (mean change: -0.11±0.38 h per day; n=20). Adult individuals who reported sleeping 7-8 h per day at both baseline and year 6 (n=173) were used as a control group. Change in adiposity indicators for each sleep-duration group was compared by analysis of covariance. We observed that the two short-sleep-duration groups had similar baseline characteristics. However, short-duration sleepers who maintained their short sleep duration experienced a greater increase in body mass index (BMI) (difference: 1.1±0.36 kg m(-2), P<0.05) and fat mass (difference: 2.4±0.64 kg, P<0.05) over the 6-year follow-up period than short-duration sleepers who increased their sleep duration, even after adjustment for relevant covariates. We did not observe any significant difference in adiposity changes between the control group and short-duration sleepers who increased their sleep duration. This study suggests for the first time that shifting sleep duration from a short to a healthier length is associated with an attenuation of fat mass gain.