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Getting a good night's sleep may play a role in staying slim.

GENEVA -- A good night's sleep of 7-8 hours may be a key factor in staying slim, and any deviations from this ideal could cause weight gain, results of a 6-year prospective study suggest.

Of 276 adults who participated in the study, 31% experienced a weight gain of at least 5 kg during the follow-up period.

Short-duration (5-6 hours) and long-duration (9-10 hours) sleepers were 35% and 25% more likely, respectively, to have a 5-kg weight gain, compared with those who slept for 7-8 hours.

"This study shows that both shorter and longer sleep duration times can predict higher body weight and fat gain in adults, independent of baseline weight or other covariates," study investigator Jean-Philippe Chaput of Laval University, Quebec City, said at the 16th European Congress on Obesity. "Furthermore, these results emphasize the need to add sleep duration to the list of determinants that contribute to weight gain and obesity," he added.

The investigators evaluated the relationship between sleep duration and subsequent body weight and fat gain in the study participants, who were aged 21-64 years. Changes in adiposity indices, including body mass index, waist circumference, percent body fat, and fat mass, were compared.

The risk of developing obesity was elevated for short- and long-duration sleepers, compared with average-duration sleepers, with a 27% and 21% increase in risk, respectively. The data were adjusted for covariates including resting metabolic rate, level of physical activity, and smoking habits.

Compared with those in the normal-duration sleep group, both short and long sleepers experienced greater increases in waist circumference (58% and 47% more, respectively) and greater weight gain (1.8 kg and 1.5 kg, respectively).

According to Mr. Chaput, the most plausible explanation for the sleep and body weight association is an alteration of hormones, such as leptin and ghrelin. He said that short sleepers are characterized by low leptin levels and high ghrelin levels.

The researchers previously investigated the effect of sleep duration on weight in children, finding that short sleep duration increases the risk of overweight and obesity in this population as well.

BY ILYA PETROU, M.D.

Contributing Writer

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Title Annotation:Clinical Rounds
Author:Petrou, Ilya
Publication:OB GYN News
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:4EXSI
Date:Jun 15, 2008
Words:350
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