Concomitant changes in sleep duration and body weight and body composition during weight loss and 3-mo weight maintenance1-3

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An inverse relation between sleep duration and body mass index (BMI) has been shown.


We assessed the relation between changes in sleep duration and changes in body weight and body composition during weight loss.


A total of 98 healthy subjects (25 men), aged 20-50 y and with BMI (in kg/m2) from 28 to 35, followed a 2-mo very-low-energy diet that was followed by a 10-mo period of weight maintenance. Body weight, body composition (measured by using deuterium dilution and air-displacement plethysmography), eating behavior (measured by using a 3-factor eating questionnaire), physical activity (measured by using the validated Baecke's questionnaire), and sleep (estimated by using a questionnaire with the Epworth Sleepiness Scale) were assessed before and immediately after weight loss and 3- and 10-mo follow-ups.


The average weight loss was 10% after 2 mo of dieting and 9% and 6% after 3- and 10-mo follow-ups, respectively. Daytime sleepiness and time to fall asleep decreased during weight loss. Short (≤7 h) and average (>7 to <9 h) sleepers increased their sleep duration, whereas sleep duration in long sleepers (≥9 h) did not change significantly during weight loss. This change in sleep duration was concomitantly negatively correlated with the change in BMI during weight loss and after the 3-mo follow-up and with the change in fat mass after the 3-mo follow-up.


Sleep duration benefits from weight loss or vice versa. Successful weight loss, loss of body fat, and 3-mo weight maintenance in short and average sleepers are underscored by an increase in sleep duration or vice versa. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials. gov as NCT01015508. Am J Clin Nutr 2013;98:25-31.

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