Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Integrative Physiology

First Advisor

Dr. Matthew McQueen

Second Advisor

Dr. David Sherwood

Third Advisor

Dr. Monique LeBourgeois

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Kenneth Wright

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Jason Boardman


Inadequate sleep over time is associated with excess body mass. Data was drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) to examine the effects of sleep duration over time on body adiposity outcomes. Respondents were included if they had participated in all four waves of the Add Health study (n = 2,766) from 1994 to 2008. The current study aimed to evaluate the relationship between sleep and obesity using the waist-to-height ratio (WHtR). In this study, regression approaches were used to assess the relationship between sleep and WHtR. Analyses were controlled for sex, age, race, smoking status, alcohol use, shift work status, parent socioeconomic status (SES) and parental education. Cumulative sleep duration was found to be inversely associated with WHtR. Models including the self-reported sleep durations collected during each wave of the Add Health study revealed predicted changes in WHtR that were similarly affected, irrespective of the wave in question. Our findings suggest that sleep during young adulthood may play an equally important role in maintaining body weight, as sleep during adolescence.