Changes in children's sleep duration on food intake, weight, and leptin

Chantelle N. Hart, Mary A. Carskadon, Robert V. Considine, Joseph L. Fava, Jessica Lawton, Hollie A. Raynor, Elissa Jelalian, Judith Owens, Rena Wing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

132 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of experimental changes in children's sleep duration on self-reported food intake, food reinforcement, appetite-regulating hormones, and measured weight. METHODS: Using a within-subjects, counterbalanced, crossover design, 37 children, 8 to 11 years of age (27% overweight/obese) completed a 3-week study. Children slept their typical amount at home for 1 week and were then randomized to either increase or decrease their time in bed by 1.5 hours per night for 1 week, completing the alternate schedule on the third week. Primary outcomes were dietary intake as assessed by 24-hour dietary recalls, food reinforcement (ie, points earned for a food reward), and fasting leptin and ghrelin. The secondary outcome was child weight. RESULTS: Participants achieved a 2 hour, 21 minute difference in the actigraph defined sleep period time between the increase and decrease sleep conditions (P < .001). Compared with the decrease sleep condition, during the increase condition, children reported consuming an average of 134 kcal/day less (P < .05), and exhibited lower fasting morning leptin values (P < .05). Measured weights were 0.22 kg lower during the increase sleep than the decrease sleep condition (P < .001). There were no differences in food reinforcement or in fasting ghrelin. CONCLUSIONS: Compared with decreased sleep, increased sleep duration in school-age children resulted in lower reported food intake, lower fasting leptin levels, and lower weight. The potential role of sleep duration in pediatric obesity prevention and treatment warrants further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1473-e1480
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • 24-hour dietary recall
  • Food intake
  • Food reinforcement
  • Ghrelin
  • Leptin
  • Sleep duration
  • Weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Medicine(all)

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    Hart, C. N., Carskadon, M. A., Considine, R. V., Fava, J. L., Lawton, J., Raynor, H. A., Jelalian, E., Owens, J., & Wing, R. (2013). Changes in children's sleep duration on food intake, weight, and leptin. Pediatrics, 132(6), e1473-e1480.