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Cross-sectional associations between objectively measured sleep characteristics and body mass index in European children and adolescents

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Background

Short sleep duration has been found to be associated with a higher risk for overweight and obesity. However, previous studies have mainly relied on subjective measures of sleep duration and other sleep characteristics (e.g. quality, timing) have often been neglected. Therefore, we aimed to investigate associations between several, mainly objectively measured sleep characteristics and body mass index (BMI). Further, we aimed to identify distinct sleep subtypes based on these sleep characteristics and to study their association with BMI.

Methods

Children aged 9-16 years participating in the European I.Family study (N=559, 51.2% girls, 32.9% overweight/obese) wore an accelerometer for one week on their wrist and recorded their daily wake-up and lights-off times in a sleep diary. Information on sleep duration, sleep efficiency and sleep latency was derived. To identify sleep subtypes, we conducted a latent class analysis using all five sleep variables. Associations between single sleep variables, sleep subtype and age- and sex-specific BMI z-score were investigated using linear mixed-effects regression models to accommodate clustering among siblings.

Results

No statistically significant associations were observed between the single sleep variables (sleep duration, sleep efficiency, sleep latency, wake-up and lights-off times) and BMI z-score. Four sleep subtypes were identified and children were assigned to one of the groups based on their highest probability for latent group membership: “early birds” (17.5% of the sample), “short sleep duration” (14.7%), “optimal sleep” (47.6%) and “poor sleep quality” (20.2%). Sleep subtype was not associated with BMI z-score.

Conclusions

Using objective sleep data, we did not find convincing evidence for associations between the sleep variables under investigation and BMI.

Publikationsdetails
Barbara_Thumann_MPISOC-website

Barbara Thumann

Christoph Buck

Stefaan De Henauw

Charalambos Hadjigeorgiou

Antje Hebestreit

Fabio Lauria

Lauren Lissner

Dénes Molnár

Luis A. Moreno

Toomas Veidebaum

Wolfgang Ahrens

Monica Hunsberger

2021
10.1016/j.sleep.2021.05.004
Elsevier
Sleep Medicine
forthcoming