Abstract MP030: Insufficient Sleep Increases Caloric Intake but not Energy Expenditure
Introduction: Identifying and mitigating factors that promote obesity will have a large public health impact. Sleep may be an important regulator of metabolism and energy expenditure. Voluntary sleep restriction is common, with 27% of US adults regularly getting ≤6 h of sleep per day. Epidemiologic evidence suggests a link between short sleep duration and obesity. Human experiments suggest that acute sleep deprivation reduces the anorexigenic hormone leptin, increases the orexigenic factor ghrelin, and promotes caloric intake. Meanwhile, increased energy expenditure during prolonged wakefulness may counterbalance any increased caloric intake associated with a lack of sleep.
Hypothesis: We hypothesized that 8 days of modest sleep restriction would reduce leptin, increase ghrelin, promote caloric intake, and increase activity energy expenditure.
Methods: We studied 17 healthy individuals age 18–40 y. Subjects completed a protocol consisting of one week of home actigraphy, a 3 night acclimation phase, followed by an 8 night experimental phase in which they were randomized to sleep ad lib or two-thirds of their normal sleep time. Blood was collected at the end of the two periods, food was freely available and caloric intake was calculated daily, and activity energy expenditure was assessed by a comprehensively validated system comprised of inclinometers and accelerometers. Sleep was confirmed using continuous electroencephalography. Mean change from the acclimation period ± standard deviation are presented, with statistical testing by two sample t tests on the changes between acclimation and experimental periods.
Results: Subjects included 11 men and 6 women, of whom 8 were randomized to sleep deprivation and 9 served as controls. Sleep duration during the acclimation period averaged 6.5±0.9 h/day but fell to 5.2±0.1 h/d among those randomized to sleep deprivation. The sleep deprivation group consumed +549±583 kcal/d, whereas those randomized to ad lib sleep consumed −143±420 kcal/d (P<0.01). Activity energy expenditure by did not change in either group (+1.2±33.0% vs +8.4±34.0%, P=0.68). Sleep deprivation was associated with a trend towards increased leptin (+8.4±4.7% versus −9.8±13.5%, P=0.12) and decreased ghrelin (−4.9±5.3% vs +4.6±7.0%, P=0.38).
Conclusions: Eight days of modest sleep restriction, similar to that encountered in everyday life, was associated with a striking increase in caloric intake with no change in activity energy expenditure. Contrary to expectations, we observed a trend towards increased circulating concentrations of leptin and reduced concentrations of ghrelin, more consistent with a consequence of a positive energy balance than a cause. Our data suggest that chronic sleep restriction may be an important and modifiable behavior promoting obesity.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.