Sleep Duration and Association with Obesity: A Synthesis of Evidence

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Suzanne M. Holmes
Caitlin E. Pribble


Obesity has become an epidemic in our world today. As healthcare providers, it is essential for us to both treat and prevent this condition in our patients. There is no one factor alone known to cause obesity. Therefore, it is crucial for us to be able to identify contributing risk factors in this disease. To look further into risk factors for obesity, we asked the clinical question - are adults with short sleep duration at higher risk for obesity? After an exhaustive review of the research literature, it is dear that the association between sleep duration and obesity has been validated through research. All studies reviewed report sleep duration less than or equal to seven hours nightly resulted in a statistically significant increased risk for obesity in the adult population. Despite the connection between short sleep and obesity, there has been no change in practice to identify those with altered sleep duration or a standard treatment plan to help short sleepers improve their sleep behaviors.


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Health Sciences