Research Study Abstract

The Relationship Between Sleep Deprivation And The Energy Balance Pathways Of Diet And Physical Activity

  • Presented on May 30, 2013

Purpose To examine the energy balance pathways of diet and physical activity under conditions of acute sleep deprivation in normal-weight and obese women.

Methods In counter-balanced fashion, 22 normal-weight (30.9±9.5 yrs, 22.0±1.6 kg/m2) and 18 obese (29.7±10.7 yrs, 36.4±5.3 kg/m2) women, with a consistent sleep-wake cycle, completed two separate free-living sleep conditions (Condition 1: one night of ~8 hrs of sleep (control); Condition 2: one night of <5 hrs of sleep). Each condition was performed on the same day of the week (1 week apart). Sleep was verified using written sleep logs and wrist actigraphy. Dietary intake was assessed for the entire day following each condition using weighed food scales. The Food Processor SQL nutrition software (ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, OR) was used to quantify total and meal-time (lunch, dinner, post-dinner, etc.) energy and macronutrient intake. Physical activity (PA) was assessed for the entire day following each condition via accelerometery. PA intensity categories were utilized from Troiano et al. (Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2008).

Results During the normal-sleep condition, sleep time was 7.7±0.3 hrs and during the sleep-restricted condition was 4.7±0.4 hrs (F=1057.02; P<0.001). There was not a groupcondition interaction for total energy intake (F=1.81; P=0.187). However, lunch-time energy intake resulted in a significant groupcondition interaction (F=6.12; P=0.018) with the obese women consuming more energy after being sleep-deprived or compared to the normal-weight women during both conditions. There were no significant group*condition interactions or main effects for total activity or sedentary, moderate, or vigorous activity time (P>0.05).

Conclusions Acute sleep deprivation and obesity may influence dietary intake at certain times of the day but does not appear to acutely influence physical activity or physical activity intensity. Additional work examining the relationship between sleep deprivation and energy balance pathways is needed.


  • James D. LeCheminant, FACSM
  • Lora Romney
  • Tyler Clark
  • Bruce W. Bailey
  • Michael Larson
  • Larry A. Tucker, FACSM


  • Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Presented at

ACSM 2013 Annual Meeting


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