Sex-specific associations of different anthropometric indices with acute and chronic insomnia.

Eur J Public Health. 2017 Dec 1;27(6):1026-1031

Andreeva VA, Torres MJ, Druesne-Pecollo N, Léger D, Gonzalez R, Bayon V, Hercberg S, Galan P.


Sleep disorders, including insomnia, are risk factors for weight gain. However, few epidemiological studies have investigated the association of anthropometric markers with insomnia as an outcome.


In this observational, cross-sectional study, we assessed the association of 3 different anthropometric indices with acute and chronic insomnia. We used data from 13 389 French adults (mean age= 51.9 ± 13.1 years; 70.3% women) enrolled in the NutriNet-Santé-Biobank cohort. Body weight, height, waist and hip circumference were measured once during a clinic visit (2011-14). Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) were the main predictors. Acute (past 8 days) and chronic (≥3 months) insomnia were assessed in 2014 via a self-report questionnaire. We fit multivariable logistic regression models providing odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).


Overweight (25.0 ≤ BMI < 30.0 kg/m2) and general obesity (BMI ≥ 30.0 kg/m2) appeared to have an inverse association with acute insomnia only among men (overweight: OR= 0.80, 95% CI: 0.70, 0.92; obesity: OR= 0.78, 95% CI: 0.63, 0.98). Obesity assessed by BMI and WHR appeared to be positively associated with chronic insomnia only among women (BMI: OR= 1.23, 95% CI: 1.04, 1.45; WHR: OR= 2.24, 95% CI: 1.07, 4.72). WC did not display any significant associations in either sex.


These cross-sectional results revealed sex-specific associations of overweight/obesity with different types of insomnia, and merit confirmation longitudinally with objectively assessed sleep parameters. Nonetheless, the findings reinforce the critical importance of joint health behaviour promotion.