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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59522. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059522. Epub 2013 Mar 19.

Longer sleep--slimmer kids: the ENERGY-project.

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  • 1Department of Public and Occupational Health, VU University Medical Center, EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



Few studies have differentiated between weekday and weekend day sleep duration in their association with indicators of weight status in children. Therefore, we examined the association of week and weekend day sleep duration with indicators of body composition in 10-12 year old European school children.


Multi-level linear regression analysis was performed to examine the association between parent-reported week and weekend day sleep duration and objectively assessed child BMI and WC, adjusting for socio-demographic variables and energy balanced related behaviours EBRBs (i.e. dietary, physical and sedentary behaviour). Compared to sleeping 10 hrs/night or more, sleeping on average less than 10 hrs/night during weekdays was associated with higher BMI (for example, B = 0.86 and CI = [0.27;1.45] when sleeping ≤7 hrs) and WC (for example, B = 1.99 and CI = [0.32;3.65] when sleeping ≤7 hrs). Sleeping 9 hrs/night during weekend days, but not ≤8 hrs, was associated with higher WC (B = 0.66; CI = [0.04;1.28]) compared to sleeping more than 10 hrs/night. Average (week and weekend) sleep duration less than 10 hrs/night was associated with higher values for BMI (B = 0.98; CI = [0.24;1.73] and WC (B = 2.35; CI = [0.08;4.31]).


Weekday sleep duration seems more strongly associated with body composition in European school children than weekend day sleep duration. Promoting adequate sleep duration may contribute to healthy weight in children.

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