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J Pediatr Psychol. 2007 Jan-Feb;32(1):69-79. Epub 2006 Feb 8.

Sleep in overweight adolescents: shorter sleep, poorer sleep quality, sleepiness, and sleep-disordered breathing.

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Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology (MLC 3015), Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, USA.



To document the sleep of overweight adolescents and to explore the degree to which weight-related sleep pathology might account for diminished psychosocial outcome.


Sixty children aged 10-16.9 from a weight-management clinic were compared to 22 healthy controls using comprehensive actigraphic, polysomnographic, and parent- and self-report questionnaire assessments.


Overweight participants averaged more symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing, later sleep onset, shorter sleep time, and more disrupted sleep than controls. Although the groups did not differ in self-reported sleep habits, multiple concerns were reported by parents of overweight participants, including daytime sleepiness, parasomnias, and inadequate sleep. Group differences in academic grades and depressive symptoms were at least partially accounted for by short sleep and daytime sleepiness.


Excessive weight is associated with an increased risk of sleep problems. There is a need for further research in this area and for clinicians who work with overweight children to evaluate their sleep.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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