ObesityWeek

ObesityWeek

Source:

Glasgow TE, et al. Sleep onset, duration or regularity: What matters most for child adiposity outcomes. Presented at: ObesityWeek 2021; Nov. 1-5, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Glasgow reports no relevant financial disclosures.
November 02, 2021
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Longer sleep duration, less variability linked to lower adiposity markers in children

Source:

Glasgow TE, et al. Sleep onset, duration or regularity: What matters most for child adiposity outcomes. Presented at: ObesityWeek 2021; Nov. 1-5, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Glasgow reports no relevant financial disclosures.
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Children who sleep longer are more likely to have lower BMI and waist circumference, and longer sleep duration and less variability in sleep patterns are associated with lower waist-to-height ratio, according to a presenter.

“Sleep duration is not only important for child health, but consistent sleep is also important,” Trevin E. Glasgow, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow in the department of health behavior and policy at Virginia Commonwealth University, told Healio. “Interventions that target improving both sleep duration and regularity are likely ideal. These interventions can target likely causes of lack of sleep and inconsistent sleep patterns, such as late-night snacking and use of technology prior to bedtime.”

Glasgow is a postdoctoral research fellow in the department of health behavior and policy at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Researchers analyzed data from 144 children aged 4 to 13 years who were part of the Newborn Epigenetic Study (NEST) and participated in a follow-up. Participants wore an accelerometer continuously for 1 week to estimate sleep-onset times and sleep duration. The Sleep Regularity Index, a metric used to quantify shifts in sleep and wake-onset times that can account for multiple sleep periods over 24 hours, was used to measure sleep variability. BMI, waist circumference and waist-to-height ratio were measured during the follow-up visit.

The findings were presented at ObesityWeek 2021.

In a multiple linear regression model, longer sleep duration was associated with lower BMI (beta = –0.292; P < .001), waist circumference (beta = –0.339; P < .001) and waist-to-height ratio (beta = –0.402; P < .001). Sleep-onset timing was not associated with any of the three measures.

“We do believe that the lack of associations with sleep-onset timing is surprising,” Glasgow said, “But it makes sense once we account for sleep duration, which seems to be a more important predictor of adiposity outcomes among children.”

After accounting for sleep duration, Sleep Regularity Index was associated with waist-to-height ratio (beta = –0.171; P = .041) but was only modestly associated with BMI or waist circumference. Researchers said cortisol, allostatic load and poor planning of health behaviors are possible mechanisms behind sleep variability and adiposity outcomes.

Glasgow said more longitudinal and experimental studies designed to manipulate sleep duration and sleep regularity are needed to better understand the relationship between sleep and obesity in children. The researchers added that more studies on children and obesity should include the Sleep Regularity Index to better understand sleep variability.