Insufficient sleep predicts poor weight loss maintenance after one year

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STUDY OBJECTIVES: Insufficient sleep may attenuate weight loss, but the role of sleep in weight loss maintenance is unknown. Since weight regain after weight loss remains a major obstacle in obesity treatment, we investigated whether insufficient sleep predicts weight regain during weight loss maintenance.

METHODS: In a randomized, controlled, two-by-two factorial study, 195 adults with obesity completed an eight-week low-calorie diet and were randomly assigned to one-year weight loss maintenance with or without exercise and liraglutide 3.0mg/day or placebo. Sleep duration and quality were measured before and after the low-calorie diet and during weight maintenance using wrist-worn accelerometers (GENEActiv) and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. To test associations between insufficient sleep and weight regain, participants were stratified at randomization into subgroups according to sleep duration (</≥6 h/night) or sleep quality (PSQI score ≤/>5).

RESULTS: After a diet-induced 13.1 kg weight loss, participants with short sleep duration at randomization regained 5.3 kg body weight (P=.0008) and had less reduction in body fat percentage compared with participants with normal sleep duration (P=.007) during the one-year weight maintenance phase. Participants with poor sleep quality before the weight loss regained 3.5 kg body weight compared with good quality sleepers (P=.010). During the weight maintenance phase, participants undergoing liraglutide treatment displayed increased sleep duration compared with placebo after 26 weeks (5 vs. -15 min/night) but not after one year. Participants undergoing exercise treatment preserved the sleep quality improvements attained from the initial weight loss.

CONCLUSIONS: Short sleep duration or poor sleep quality was associated with weight regain after weight loss in adults with obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberzsac295
Issue number5
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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© Sleep Research Society 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Sleep Research Society.

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