Dr. Jean-Philippe Chaput (Junior Research Chair) is lead author on a paper titled, “Insufficient sleep as a contributor to weight gain: an update,” that was recently published in Current Obesity Reports. Citation details are below:
Jean-Philippe Chaput and Angelo Tremblay. Insufficient sleep as a contributor to weight gain: an update. Current Obesity Reports, Volume 1, Number 4 (2012), 245-256.
ABSTRACT: Behavioral sleep restriction is becoming endemic in modern times. The evidence taken as a whole suggests that insufficient sleep plays a role in the risk of obesity. At present it appears very likely that insufficient sleep results in increased food intake, while there is little support that it results in reduced energy expenditure. New studies provide evidence that insufficient sleep enhances hedonic stimulus processing in the brain underlying the drive to consume food and are consistent with the notion that reduced sleep may lead to greater propensity to overeat. Recent studies also suggest that short sleep duration preferentially increases abdominal adiposity, possibly through a hyperactivation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis. Individuals attempting to lose weight should also consider getting adequate amounts of sleep in addition to limiting calorie intake and increasing physical activity to improve the success of their weight loss intervention. Finally, preliminary results by our research group lend support to the effect that increasing sleeping time in short-duration sleepers has the potential to limit adiposity gain over time. A proof of principle study on a randomized sample is currently under way to assess whether sleep extension is feasible and whether it influences body weight. In summary, the preponderance of the evidence supports taking a pragmatic approach and encouraging a good night’s sleep as an adjunct to other health promotion measures.