Sleep is increased by weight gain and decreased by weight loss in mice

Zhiwei Guan, Alexandros N. Vgontzas, Edward O. Bixler, Jidong Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether weight loss could reverse excessive sleep in high-fat diet-induced obesity. Design: Three groups of mice participated in the study. A weight gain/loss group was fed with high-fat food for 6 weeks (weight gain), and regular food again for 4 weeks (weight loss). A control group and a weight gain only group were fed with regular food and high-fat food, respectively, for 10 weeks after the baseline. Participants: Adult male C57BL/6 mice. Measurements: The amounts of wake, rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) and non-REM sleep (NREMS) were determined at week 0 (baseline), week 6, and week 10. Results: The weight gain/loss group displayed a significant decrease in wakefulness and increases in NREMS and episodes of NREMS during 6 weeks of weight gain, which were reversed during subsequent 4 weeks of weight loss. The weight gain only group displayed significant decrease in wakefulness and increase of NREMS and REMS at both week 6 and week 10. The control group did not show significant sleep alterations during the experiment. Conclusion: These observations indicate that sleep alterations induced by weight gain are reversed by weight loss in obese animals. These data may shed light on the mechanisms underlying the well-established association between obesity and sleepiness in humans and may lead to new therapeutic strategies for these 2 increasingly prevalent problems in the modern societies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-633
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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