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Sleep. 2013 Aug 1;36(8):1139-45. doi: 10.5665/sleep.2872.

Self-reported sleep duration and weight-control strategies among U.S. high school students.

Author information

  • 1Division of Population Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA. AWheaton@cdc.gov



To determine if self-reported sleep duration was associated with weight-control behaviors among US high school students.


National Youth Risk Behavior Survey.


United States, 2007.


US high school students (N = 12,087).


Students were asked if they had engaged in several weight-control behaviors during the 30 days before the survey to lose or maintain weight. Self-reported sleep duration categories included very short (≤ 5 h), short (6 or 7 h), referent moderate (8 or 9 h), and long (≥ 10 h). Sex-specific logistic regression analyses with race/ethnicity, grade, and body mass index category as covariates were conducted using SUDAAN to account for complex study design.


Approximately half the students reported short sleep duration (51.8% of males and 54.3% of females), whereas very short sleep durations were reported by another 14.8% of males and 16.9% of females. Among males, very short sleepers were significantly (P < 0.05) more likely than moderate sleepers to report dieting (36.3% versus 26.1%), fasting (14.2% versus 4.3%), and purging (4.3% versus 1.1%) to lose or maintain weight during the 30 days before the survey. Among females, the respective very short, short, and moderate sleepers varied (P < 0.05) in dieting (59.9%, 55.0%, and 47.5% respectively), fasting (28.3%, 15.2%, and 10.3%, respectively), and taking diet pills (13.3%, 6.8%, and 4.3%, respectively). Prevalence of purging was significantly higher only for very short sleepers (12.3%, 6.0%, and 3.9%, respectively).


Self-reported short sleep duration was associated with dieting and three unhealthy weight-control behaviors in this population. If our findings are confirmed, intervention studies should be conducted to examine the effect of educational interventions.


Adolescence; sleep; weight management

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