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Obesity and sleep disturbances: The “chicken or the egg” question

  • Author Footnotes
    # All the authors equally contributed to the manuscript.
    Gabriel Dias Rodrigues
    Footnotes
    # All the authors equally contributed to the manuscript.
    Affiliations
    Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Biomedical Institute, Fluminense Federal University, Niterói, 24210-130, Brazil

    Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy
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  • Author Footnotes
    # All the authors equally contributed to the manuscript.
    Elisa M. Fiorelli
    Footnotes
    # All the authors equally contributed to the manuscript.
    Affiliations
    Department of Internal Medicine, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, 20122 Milan, Italy
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  • Author Footnotes
    # All the authors equally contributed to the manuscript.
    Ludovico Furlan
    Footnotes
    # All the authors equally contributed to the manuscript.
    Affiliations
    Department of Emergency Medicine, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, 20122 Milan, Italy
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  • Nicola Montano
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author.
    Affiliations
    Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy

    Department of Internal Medicine, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, 20122 Milan, Italy
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  • Eleonora Tobaldini
    Affiliations
    Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy

    Department of Internal Medicine, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, 20122 Milan, Italy
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    # All the authors equally contributed to the manuscript.

      Highlights

      • Obesity and sleep disturbances are linked by a bi-directional causal-effect relation.
      • Sleep disturbances increase the risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome.
      • Obesity is a risk factor for several sleep disorders (such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea).
      • It is mandatory to investigate possible sleep disorders in obese patients.

      Abstract

      Obesity and sleep disturbances are common conditions in modern societies and accumulating evidence support a close bidirectional causal relationship between these two conditions.
      Indeed, from one side sleep loss seems to affect energy intake and expenditure through its direct effects on hormone-mediated sensations of satiety and hunger and through the influence on hedonic and psychological aspects of food consumption. Sleep deprived patients have been shown to experiment excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and tiredness that, in a vicious circle, enhances physical inactivity and weight gain. On the other side, obesity is a well-known risk factor for several sleep disorders. This narrative review will discuss the main pathophysiological mechanisms that link sleep loss to obesity and metabolic syndrome with particular attention to the three most common sleep disorders (insomnia, obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome, restless leg syndrome).
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