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

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


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).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-16
JournalEuropean Journal of Internal Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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