Current Obesity Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 333–343 | Cite as

Sleep Duration and Obesity in Adults: What Are the Connections?

  • Jenny Theorell-Haglöw
  • Eva Lindberg
The Obesity Epidemic: Causes and Consequences (A Peeters and A Cameron, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on The Obesity Epidemic: Causes and Consequences


Collectively, cross-sectional and longitudinal studies on self-reported sleep duration and obesity do not show a clear pattern of association with some showing a negative linear relationship, some showing a U-shaped relationship, and some showing no relationship. Associations between sleep duration and obesity seem stronger in younger adults. Cross-sectional studies using objectively measured sleep duration (actigraphy or polysomnography (PSG)) also show this mixed pattern whereas all longitudinal studies to date using actigraphy or PSG have failed to show a relationship with obesity/weight gain. It is still too early and a too easy solution to suggest that changing the sleep duration will cure the obesity epidemic. Given novel results on emotional stress and poor sleep as mediating factors in the relationship between sleep duration and obesity, detection and management of these should become the target of future clinical efforts as well as future research.


Sleep Obesity Adults Review 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Jenny Theorell-Haglöw and Eva Lindberg declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

References [46, 54, 64] were performed by the authors and human subjects were involved. All participants gave informed consent. The authors have not performed any animal studies.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical Sciences, Respiratory, Allergy and Sleep ResearchUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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