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Original Research: Sleep Disorders |

Effects of Experimental Sleep Restriction on Caloric Intake and Activity Energy ExpenditureSleep Restriction and Energy Balance

Andrew D. Calvin, MD, MPH; Rickey E. Carter, PhD; Taro Adachi, MD, PhD; Paula G. Macedo, MD; Felipe N. Albuquerque, MD; Christelle van der Walt, BTech, RPSGT, RST; Jan Bukartyk, MSc; Diane E. Davison, MA, RN; James A. Levine, MD, PhD; Virend K. Somers, MD, PhD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

From the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases (Drs Calvin and Somers, Mss van der Walt and Davison, and Mr Bukartyk) and the Department of Health Services Research (Dr Carter), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; the Division of Endocrinology (Dr Levine), Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ; Yale University (Dr Albuquerque), New Haven, CT; Showa University (Dr Adachi), Tokyo, Japan; University Brazilia (Dr Macedo), Brazilia, Brazil; and the International Clinical Research Center (Mr Bukartyk), Brno, Czech Republic.

Correspondence to: Virend K. Somers, MD, PhD, FCCP, Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905; E-mail: somers.virend@mayo.edu


Funding/Support: This work was supported by the Mayo Foundation and the Mayo Clinic Clinician-Investigator Training Program (to Dr Calvin); the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute [Grant 096071]; the National Institutes of Health (NIH) [Grant R201 HL096071 and R01 HL114024]; and the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) [Grant 1ULI RR024150], a component of the NIH and the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research. These studies were also supported by grants from the Czech Ministry of Health [NS 10098-4/2008] and by European Regional Development Fund - Project FNUSA-ICRC [CZ.1.05/1.1.00/02.0123].

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2013;144(1):79-86. doi:10.1378/chest.12-2829
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Background:  Epidemiologic studies link short sleep duration to obesity and weight gain. Insufficient sleep appears to alter circulating levels of the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which may promote appetite, although the effects of sleep restriction on caloric intake and energy expenditure are unclear. We sought to determine the effect of 8 days/8 nights of sleep restriction on caloric intake, activity energy expenditure, and circulating levels of leptin and ghrelin.

Methods:  We conducted a randomized study of usual sleep vs a sleep restriction of two-thirds of normal sleep time for 8 days/8 nights in a hospital-based clinical research unit. The main outcomes were caloric intake, activity energy expenditure, and circulating levels of leptin and ghrelin.

Results:  Caloric intake in the sleep-restricted group increased by +559 kcal/d (SD, 706 kcal/d, P = .006) and decreased in the control group by −118 kcal/d (SD, 386 kcal/d, P = .51) for a net change of +677 kcal/d (95% CI, 148-1,206 kcal/d; P = .014). Sleep restriction was not associated with changes in activity energy expenditure (P = .62). No change was seen in levels of leptin (P = .27) or ghrelin (P = .21).

Conclusions:  Sleep restriction was associated with an increase in caloric consumption with no change in activity energy expenditure or leptin and ghrelin concentrations. Increased caloric intake without any accompanying increase in energy expenditure may contribute to obesity in people who are exposed to long-term sleep restriction.

Trial Registration:  ClinicalTrials.gov; No.: NCT01334788; URL: www.clinicaltrials.gov

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