Sleep onset, duration, or regularity: which matters most for child adiposity outcomes?

Conference Paper

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Sleep measures, such as duration and onset timing, are associated with adiposity outcomes among children. Recent research among adults has considered variability in sleep and wake onset times, with the Sleep Regularity Index (SRI) as a comprehensive metric to measure shifts in sleep and wake onset times between days. However, little research has examined regularity and adiposity outcomes among children. This study examined the associations of three sleep measures (i.e., sleep duration, sleep onset time, and SRI) with three measures of adiposity (i.e., body mass index [BMI], waist circumference, and waist-to-height ratio [WHtR]) in a pediatric sample. SUBJECTS/METHODS: Children (ages 4-13 years) who were part of the U.S. Newborn Epigenetic STudy (NEST) participated. Children (N = 144) wore an ActiGraph for 1 week. Sleep measures were estimated from actigraphy data. Weight, height, and waist circumference were measured by trained researchers. BMI and WHtR was calculated with the objectively measured waist and height values. Multiple linear regression models examined associations between child sleep and adiposity outcomes, controlling for race/ethnicity, child sex, age, mothers' BMI and sleep duration. RESULTS: When considering sleep onset timing and duration, along with demographic covariates, sleep onset timing was not significantly associated with any of the three adiposity measures, but a longer duration was significantly associated with a lower BMI Z-score (β = -0.29, p < 0.001), waist circumference (β = -0.31, p < 0.001), and WHtR (β = -0.38, p < 0.001). When considering SRI and duration, duration remained significantly associated with the adiposity measures. The SRI and adiposity associations were in the expected direction, but were non-significant, except the SRI and WHtR association (β = -0.16, p = 0.077) was marginally non-significant. CONCLUSIONS: Sleep duration was consistently associated with adiposity measures in children 4-13 years of age. Pediatric sleep interventions should focus first on elongating nighttime sleep duration, and examine if this improves child adiposity outcomes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Glasgow, TE; Adams, EL; Ksinan, A; Barsell, DJ; Lunsford-Avery, J; Chen, S; Kollins, S; Schechter, JC; Maguire, R; Engelhard, M; Fuemmeler, BF

Published Date

  • August 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 46 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 1502 - 1509

PubMed ID

  • 35551259

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9585919

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1476-5497

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/s41366-022-01140-0

Conference Location

  • England