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JFSF Vol 6, No 2, June 2021, p.50-56

doi: 10.22540/JFSF-06-050


Opinion Article

Effects of sleep deprivation on sarcopenia and obesity: A narrative review of randomized controlled and crossover trials

Konstantinos Prokopidis1, Yannis Dionyssiotis2

  1. Imperial College London, Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction, London, United Kingdom
  2. 1st Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department, National Rehabilitation Center EKA, Athens, Greece

Keywords: Cortisol, Energy balance, Sarcopenia, Sleep restriction, Testosterone


Shortened and fragmented sleeping patterns occupying modern industrialized societies may promote metabolic disturbances accompanied by increased risk of weight gain and skeletal muscle degradation. Short-term sleep restriction may alter energy homeostasis by modifying dopamine brain receptor signaling, leading to hyperpalatable food consumption and risk of increased adiposity. Concomitantly, the metabolic damage caused by lower testosterone and higher cortisol levels may stimulate systemic inflammation, insulin resistance, and suppress pathways involved in muscle protein synthesis. These changes may lead to dysregulated energy balance and skeletal muscle metabolism, increasing the risk of sarcopenic obesity, an additional public health burden. Future trials controlling for food intake and exploring further the influence of sleep deprivation on anabolic and catabolic signaling, and gut peptide interaction with energy balance are warranted.