Sleeping patterns and childhood obesity: An epidemiological study in 1,728 children in Greece

Aikaterini Kanellopoulou, Venetia Notara, Emmanuella Magriplis, George Antonogeorgos, Andrea Paola Rojas-Gil, Ekaterina N. Kornilaki, Areti Lagiou, Mary Yannakoulia, Demosthenes B. Panagiotakos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


StudyObjectives: Sleep is an essential normal function for children's growth and development, but over the years, lifestyle changes have resulted in insufficient sleep, a factor that may be associated with increased childhood obesity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between sleep duration and sleep patterns separately on weekdays and weekends regarding children's weight status. Methods: This study was conducted among Greek students (55.1% girls) in 2014-2016. Children's weight status was classified according to the International Obesity Task Force tables and guidelines. Sleep duration was determined based on the sleep and wake time that children reported, separately for weekdays and weekends. Classification and regression tree analysis was used to derive sleep patterns and evaluate their relation to children's weight status. Results: Multiadjusted analysis revealed an inverse association between average duration of sleep on weekdays and weekends with the likelihood of being overweight/obese (odds ratio per 1 hour 0.82; 95% confidence interval, 0.73-0.92). This was more prominent on weekends than on weekdays. Children who had lower duration on weekdays, but catch-up sleep duration on weekends, were 2% (95% confidence interval, 0.97-0.99) less likely to be overweight/obese compared to those children having both less or increased sleep duration on weekdays and weekends. Conclusions: Sleep duration and sleep patterns seem to be associated with childhood weight status. Interventions should be developed to educate parents on the importance of an adequate sleep duration and healthy sleep patterns for their children's healthy development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1093-1101
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021
Externally publishedYes


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