Does poor sleep hit obese teens harder? – News-Medical.Net

In a latest research revealed within the journal JAMA Neurology, researchers evaluated how adolescent sleep length impacts the affiliation between cognitive perform and adiposity. The outcomes advised that obese or overweight adolescents may expertise a better diploma of opposed cognitive results after sleep restriction than adolescents throughout the wholesome weight vary.

Examine: Impact of Sleep Restriction on Adolescent Cognition by Adiposity. Picture Credit score: Prostock-studio / Shutterstock


Weight problems is quickly changing into a critical well being concern among the many pediatric inhabitants in the US. Research primarily based on neurobiological knowledge and cognitive efficiency assessments counsel that weight problems can also be related to cognitive difficulties.

Nevertheless, the multifaceted and complicated nature of the affiliation between weight problems and cognitive perform makes it tough to decipher the causal mechanisms of the cognitive difficulties. Neuroanatomical impairments might result in elevated meals consumption, resulting in weight problems. Weight problems-associated organic elements corresponding to insulin resistance and low-grade irritation might result in cognitive impairments. Analysis means that metabolic dysfunction, irritation, or insufficient bodily exercise might independently affect cognitive perform.

Poor sleep high quality has sturdy associations with elevated adiposity, better urge for food as a result of excessive cortisol and ghrelin and low leptin ranges, in addition to poor decisions about dietary meals. Impaired sleep has additionally been discovered to affect cognitive perform. Nevertheless, whether or not and the way sleep restriction moderates the hyperlink between adiposity and cognitive perform stays unclear.

In regards to the research

Within the current research, the researchers hypothesized that restricted sleep would impair numerous facets of cognitive perform and that the destructive results of sleep restriction on cognitive perform could be greater in adolescents with greater adiposity than in adolescents throughout the wholesome weight vary.

Earlier comparable research have used solely physique mass index (BMI) as a measure of adiposity, which is misguided since BMI can not distinguish between muscle mass and adiposity. To bypass these shortcomings, the present research used whole physique fats proportion or TBF% as an extra measure of adiposity.

Adolescents between the ages of 14 and 19 have been included within the research in the event that they have been wholesome and didn’t have any sleep problems, consuming problems, mental incapacity, studying problems, or problem consuming or feeding. The exclusion standards additionally consisted of utilizing any medicines that might affect urge for food or sleep, BMI within the fifth percentile, and a excessive rating on the meals fussiness scale.

This randomized crossover research consisted of three lab visits for the adolescents and their dad and mom or caregivers. The primary go to consisted of the dad and mom’ finishing questionnaires on childhood consuming habits, in addition to meals and demographics. Baseline measurements of the adolescent members taken in the course of the first go to included bioelectrical impedance evaluation, finishing a cognitive battery, and assessments of weight and top.

The next two visits consisted of a randomized order of two sleep situations confirmed by actigraphy. The length of the sleep situation was one night time, which adopted a washout interval of two nights of ample sleep. The 2 sleep situations consisted of 1 restricted sleep situation of solely 4 hours of sleep and one ample sleep situation of 9 hours of sleep. Actigraphy was used to verify the participant’s adherence to every sleep situation, after which a cognitive battery was administered.


The outcomes indicated that the opposed results of restricted sleep on cognitive perform have been extra important amongst overweight or obese adolescents as in comparison with adolescents within the regular weight vary. Overweight or obese adolescents carried out poorly in areas of world cognition, cognitive flexibility, fluid cognition, and a focus after one night time of insufficient sleep as in comparison with adolescents who weren’t obese.

Using TBF% on this research additionally highlighted one of many drawbacks of utilizing BMI as a measure of adiposity and one of many downsides of the low TBF% pediatric cut-offs used to outline obese or weight problems. The research discovered that greater TBF% was related to decrease efficiency in cognitive flexibility, fluid cognition, and processing velocity after one night time of insufficient sleep.

Nevertheless, the outcomes additionally confirmed that the cut-offs for TBF% have been considerably greater for all three cognitive areas than for the pediatric cut-offs used so far. These findings indicated that the chance of cognitive impairments from sleep restriction was considerably elevated just for adolescents who have been overweight or severely overweight and didn’t apply to all overweight or obese adolescents in an analogous method.

In instances of ample sleep, no distinction in cognitive perform was famous between adolescents who have been obese or these throughout the wholesome physique weight vary. Equally, for adolescents who weren’t obese or overweight, the sleep restriction didn’t considerably change the varied areas of cognition that have been examined.


General, the research discovered that insufficient sleep had a better destructive affect on numerous facets of cognitive perform, together with fluid cognition, cognitive flexibility, consideration, and processing speeds, amongst adolescents who have been overweight or obese than amongst those that didn’t have unhealthy physique weight.

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