The Strong Connection Between Sleep Deprivation And Weight Gain

The number of​ overweight children is​ growing at​ such an​ alarming rate. in​ a​ nutshell,​ children today are now spending less time playing outside and exercising,​ therefore having more time in​ front of​ the​ television,​ computer,​ or​ video game consoles. a​ normal family today may have less free time to​ prepare nutritious,​ home cooked meals for the​ day. This situation is​ further worsened by the​ hectic schedules and high-pressure demands of​ work and school. Being quick and easy now seems to​ be the​ mindset of​ people,​ both young and old.

Since before,​ the​ number of​ overweight children and adolescents has more than doubled. Ten percent of​ kids up to​ five years of​ age and more than fifteen percent of​ children aging from six to​ nineteen are overweight. if​ these numbers are combined with the​ percentage of​ children who are at​ risk of​ becoming overweight,​ about one out of​ three children are affected.

Another related study on​ sleep has also found that lack of​ sleep in​ children aged nine to​ twelve is​ linked to​ an​ increased risk of​ being overweight. the​ researchers included in​ this study were working on​ a​ project called Sleep ImageIn that seeks the​ link between sleep duration in​ third and sixth grade children and their risk of​ being overweight. One of​ the​ researchers said that many children are not getting enough sleep,​ and that lack of​ sleep may not only be making them moody or​ preventing them from being alert and ready for school,​ but it​ may also lead to​ a​ higher risk of​ being overweight.

The researchers in​ this study found that children who slept for less than nine hours a​ day were at​ increased risk of​ being overweight,​ and this was unaffected by race,​ gender,​ socioeconomic status,​ or​ quality of​ their home environment. Among the​ sixth graders,​ those who slept the​ least were the​ most likely to​ be overweight,​ and among the​ third grade children,​ those who slept the​ least were most likely to​ be overweight in​ sixth grade,​ regardless of​ their BMI (body mass index,​ used for measuring obesity) in​ third grade. On a​ more positive note,​ this study found that every extra hour of​ sleep in​ the​ sixth grade was connected to​ a​ 20 percent reduction in​ risk of​ being overweight in​ the​ sixth grade,​ while in​ the​ third grade this was connected to​ a​ 40 percent reduction in​ being overweight in​ the​ sixth grade.

Based on​ their findings,​ the​ researchers noted that sleep patterns may have a​ behavior impact on​ children. Those who get enough rest have more energy to​ exercise,​ such as​ playing outside instead of​ lying around and watching TV. And when children are tired,​ they may be more irritable and moody,​ and may use food to​ regulate their mood.

Sleep studies such as​ this can contribute to​ the​ healthcare that children need for proper growth. Researchers advised families who struggle to​ get their children to​ go to​ sleep at​ a​ reasonable hour,​ to​ seek help from their health care provider. By enforcing an​ age-appropriate bed time,​ or​ even revising school start-times,​ major improvements can be made to​ ensure that children have enough of​ health-giving rest and sleep.

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