Preventing Weight Gain Improves Sleep Quality Among Black Women: Results from a RCT


Authors & Journal

Dori M. Steinberg, Jacob Christy, Bryan C. Batch, Sandy Askew, Reneé H. Moore, Portia Parker, Gary G. Bennett

Annals of Behavioral Medicine



Background: Obesity and poor sleep are highly prevalent among Black women.

Purpose: We examined whether a weight gain prevention intervention improved sleep among Black women.

Methods: We conducted a randomized trial comparing a 12-month weight gain prevention intervention that included self-monitoring through mobile technologies and phone coaching to usual care in community health centers. We measured sleep using the Medical Outcomes Study Sleep Scale at baseline, 12 months, and 18 months. The scale examines quantity of sleep, sleep disturbance, sleep adequacy, daytime somnolence, snoring, shortness of breath, and global sleep problems (sleep problem indices I and II).

Results: Participants (n = 184) were on average 35.4 years and obese (BMI 30.2 kg/m2); 74% made <$30,000/year. At baseline, average sleep duration was 6.4 (1.5) hours. Controlling for weight change and sleep medication, the intervention group reported greater improvements in sleep disturbance [−8.35 (−16.24, −0.45)] and sleep problems at 12 months: sleep problem index I [−8.35 (−16.24, −0.45)]; sleep problem index II [−8.35 (−16.24, −0.45)]. However, these findings did not persist at 18 months.

Conclusions: Preventing weight gain may afford clinical benefit on improving sleep quality.


Steinberg, D.M., Christy, J., Batch, B.C. et al. ann. behav. med. (2017). doi:10.1007/s12160-017-9879-z