Kids Who Get More Sleep Avoid Overeating, Behave Better

A new study has discovered that kids who get the right amount of sleep do not overeat, which reduces the chance of them becoming overweight, reports Michael Harper from Red Orbit.

37 children were assessed and it was discovered that the children who eat fewer calories were the ones who slept longer. A scientific explanation is that there is a reduction in the hormone Leptin which is responsible for regulating hunger.

This study also has the backing of previous work that has been done on this specific topic.

"It's been well documented, for instance, that children who don't get ample sleep at night aren't just more likely to become obese adults, they're also more likely to be stressed and exhibit behavioral problems."

So, if getting the sleeping patterns right early on in kids has advantages that will carry on well into their adulthood, then it is worth making the effort to get those sleeping patterns right.

"Chantelle Hart, PhD, associate professor of public health at Temple's Center for Obesity Research and Education led the research, which is published in the journal Pediatrics.

Though the results of Hart's study aren't groundbreaking, hers is the first to manipulate the amount of sleep the children received each night rather than observe children in their natural cycles. Of the 37 eight- to eleven-year-old children observed in the study, 27 percent were considered overweight or obese."

The University of Alberta found that because of the many distractions in the bedroom that are of an electronic nature children are sleeping increasingly less, which is negatively affecting their general health.

Paul Veugelers, a professor for the Public School of Health, says that if parents are interested in increasing the health of children, then they should consider regulating the use of any technology that they have in their bedrooms. Strict monitoring of their activities late in the evening is also important for their physical well-being.

Another study completed by the University College London concluded that in addition to the weight control that regular and sufficient sleep provides, kids who slept more were better behaved.

"Fixed bedtimes and plenty of sleep have been found to not just prevent obesity, they also make for well-behaved, happy children. Last month the University College London published a study that found that kids who had a consistent bedtime every night were less likely to act out at school than those children who went to bed at a different time every night."


11 13, 2013
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