Sleep Less, Weigh More?

Written by dad - 4 Comments

Here’s an interesting tidbit… It seems that kids who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight and have higher BMIs than those who get more. Sleep experts recommend that kids ages 5 to 12 sleep for 10 or 11 hours a night, and adolescents sleep for 8 to 9 hours. However, researchers found that 7 year olds average less than 10 hours of sleep on weekdays, whereas 14 years olds get an average of 8.5 hours of sleep.

While the effect wasn’t huge, an extra hour of sleep cut the likelihood of being overweight five years later from 36 percent to 30 percent in children ages 3 to 8, and from 34 to 30 percent in those ages 8 to 13.

While the study didn’t provide direct insight into why kids who sleep less end up weighing more, the researchers speculated that lack of sleep may affect hormone levels that influence appetite. Staying up later at night might also provide additional opportunities to eat, and getting less sleep might make kids too tired to get enough exercise.

In our case, the boys are typically in bed before 8PM. Thus, they have plenty of time for them to get enough rest. Truth be told, however, the early bedtime is more for our mental health than for the boys’ physical well-being!

[Source: CNN/Health]

Published on February 21st, 2007 - 4 Comments
Filed under: Health
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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. Interesting, I found a similar article about a year ago about weight gain in adults that didn’t sleep enough. I can’t find the link to it now. But there are a lot of studies out there. I would imagine they would apply to children as well. And like you, we put our kids to bed early for our sanity. 😉

    Comment by vw bug — Feb 23rd 2007 @ 7:43 am
  2. I wrote about this at RTW (trackbacked above) and had somebody comment to the effect that he has raised his kids to be night-owls since they are themselves (they own a couple restaurants).

    Poor him. I hope that we don’t do that when we have kids.

    Comment by Blaine Moore — Feb 23rd 2007 @ 9:18 am
  3. I have no doubt this is true. When I don’t get enough sleep, I contantly eat (and poorly) trying to get my energy level up.

    Comment by saving advice — Mar 1st 2007 @ 10:00 am

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