Multidimensional sleep health is not cross-sectionally or longitudinally associated with adiposity in the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN)



      The association between sleep and adiposity (indexed by body mass index or waist-to-hip ratio) has typically been evaluated using a single dimension of self-reported sleep. However, other dimensions and behavioral measures of sleep may also be associated with adiposity. This study evaluated whether multidimensional sleep health calculated from actigraphy and self-report was longitudinally associated with adiposity in a sample of midlife women who have a high prevalence of sleep disturbances and adiposity.


      Longitudinal study with 11–14 years of follow-up time between the sleep health assessment and body mass index / waist-to-hip ratio measurements.


      Two hundred and twenty-one midlife women enrolled in the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation Sleep Study.


      Multidimensional sleep health was quantified using actigraphy (M[SD] = 29.1[7.2] nights) measures of sleep efficiency, midpoint, duration, regularity, and self-report measures of alertness and satisfaction. Each component was dichotomized and summed; higher values indicated better sleep health. Height, body weight, and waist and hip circumference were measured at the sleep study and at follow-up. Linear regression models were used to assess associations between sleep health and adiposity, adjusting for demographic and menopausal covariates.


      There was no substantial within-person change in adiposity over time. Better sleep health was cross-sectionally and longitudinally associated with lower adiposity in unadjusted, but not in adjusted, models. Individual sleep health components were not associated with adiposity after adjustment.


      We did not observe cross-sectional or longitudinal associations between multidimensional sleep health and adiposity. The sleep-adiposity link may be weaker in midlife adults than in other age groups.


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