Current Obesity Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 397–404 | Cite as

Role of Sex and the Environment in Moderating Weight Gain Due to Inadequate Sleep

  • Jamie E. Coborn
  • Monica M. Houser
  • Claudio E. Perez-Leighton
  • Jennifer A. Teske
Metabolism (CJ Billington, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Metabolism


Purpose of Review

The growing prevalence of obesity, inadequate sleep and sleep disorders together with the negative impact of lack of sleep on overall health highlights the need for therapies targeted towards weight gain due to sleep loss.

Recent Findings

Sex disparities in obesity and sleep disorders are present; yet, the role of sex is inadequately addressed and thus it is unclear whether sensitivity to sleep disruption differs between men and women. Like sex, environmental factors contribute to the development of obesity and poor sleep. The obesogenic environment is characterized by easy access to palatable foods and a low demand for energy expenditure in daily activities. These and other environmental factors are discussed, as they drive altered sleep or their interaction with food choice and intake can promote obesity.


We discuss data that suggest differences in sleep patterns and responses to sleep disruption influence sex disparities in weight gain, and that enviromental disturbances alter sleep and interact with features of the obesogenic environment that together promote obesity.


Obesity Sleep deprivation Sleep fragmentation Brain Estrogen 



Funding for the publication was supported by the National Institutes of Health NS099468-01A1 (JAT), FONDECYT REGULAR 1150274 (CEPL), and the United States Department of Agriculture ARZT-1372540-R23-131 (JAT) and the National Needs Fellowship 2014-38420-21799 (JEC).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Jamie E. Coborn, Monica M. Houser, Claudio E. Perez-Leighton, and Jennifer A. Teske declare they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

Although this article does not contain any studies conducted with human subjects performed by the authors, there is one study with animal subjects that has been disclosed by the authors.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nutritional SciencesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Physiological Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary ProgramUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  3. 3.Center for Integrative Medicine and Innovative Science, Facultad de MedicinaUniversidad Andres BelloSantiago, Región MetropolitanaChile
  4. 4.Department of Food Science and NutritionUniversity of MinnesotaSaint PaulUSA
  5. 5.Minnesota Obesity CenterUniversity of MinnesotaSaint PaulUSA
  6. 6.Department of Nutritional SciencesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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