What Role Does Sleep Play in Weight Gain in the First Semester of University?

Brandy M. Roane, Ronald Seifer, Katherine M. Sharkey, Eliza Van Reen, Tamara L.Y. Bond, Tifenn Raffray, Mary A. Carskadon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We hypothesized that shorter sleep durations and greater variability in sleep patterns are associated with weight gain in the first semester of university. Students (N = 132) completed daily sleep diaries for 9 weeks, completed the MEQ (chronotype) and CES-D (depressed mood) at week 9, and self-reported weight/height (weeks 1 & 9). Mean and variability scores were calculated for sleep duration (TST, TSTv), bedtime (BT, BTv), and wake time (WT, WTv). An initial hierarchical regression evaluated (block 1) sex, ethnicity; (block 2) depressed mood, chronotype; (block 3) TST; (block 4) BT, WT; and (block 5; R2 change = 0.09, p = 0.005) TSTv, BTv, WTv with weight change. A sex-by-TSTv interaction was found. A final model showed that ethnicity, TST, TSTv, and BTv accounted for 31% of the variance in weight change for males; TSTv was the most significant contributor (R2 change = 0.21, p < 0.001). Daily variability in sleep duration contributes to males' weight gain. Further investigation needs to examine sex-specific outcomes for sleep and weight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-505
Number of pages15
JournalBehavioral Sleep Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2 Nov 2015


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