Sleep is an essential part of helping our bodies properly repair cells and their functions. Numerous studies have concluded that a lack of sleep is playing a significant role in whether or not a child will be overweight.
According to Boston study found here, a 7-year-old who received less than 12 hours of sleep between the ages of six months and two years were 36-percent more likely to become obese than those children that got more sleep.
An Epidemic Far Worse Than Drugs or Smoking
The researchers studied more than 1,000 children whose ages ranged from six months to seven years old. They collected information from their parents annually that included details about the child’s height, weight, social habits and most importantly, the details specific to the child’s napping and overall sleeping habits.
The study showed the connection between lack of sleep and an increase in weight was likely attributed to the fluctuation in hormones that become unbalanced when there is a present amount of insufficient sleep.
Elsie Tavras a pediatrician at Mass General Hospital for Children was the lead study author of the group and further explains that children that have bad sleeping routines most likely have disrupted eating and meal patterns in the home as well.
Another study was conducted by Janice Bell at the University of Washington maternal and child health. Over a five-year period, Bell examined the sleeping habits of some 2,000 children as well as their fluctuations in weight. She ultimately determined that children who slept less than 10 hours per night were nearly two times more likely to go from a normal weight to being overweight. And if the child was already overweight their chances of becoming obese increased in that same time frame.
Bell states that, “It may be that children who don’t sleep enough at night are too tired to engage in the kind of physical activity that may prevent obesity.”
A recent look at the American Heart Association shows that nearly one in three children and young adults are overweight or obese. This issue has already surpassed the serious health concerns of smoking and drug abuse.
The Answer is Clear
Children need and require more sleep. It’s detrimental to their immediate health as well as their long term health. We as parents need to provide a sleeping routine that is beneficial to their brain development and overall well-being.
Setting them up for a long healthy life starts early and begins with more sleep!
Find a bed that makes you feel good,