A new study shows that precisely the time you go to bed may affect your children’s risk of obesity several years later. Not the foods they put in their mouths or their amounts, nor the amount of physical activity they do. So what is the ideal time and how late is too late?
The relationship between the number of hours children sleep and the risk of obesity is already known . In a new study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics , it became clear that bedtime also has an effect: preschoolers who went to bed early had a reduced risk of obesity when they reached adolescence.
Research on “how to prevent risk of obesity”
A group of researchers from Ohio State University analyzed information collected on 977 children born in the United States in 1991. When the children were 4 years and 7 months old, their mothers were asked to answer the question: “What time does your child go to bed most evenings of the week?”. From the data that were delivered, it turned out that about 25% of the children went to bed at or before 8:00 p.m., about 50% between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. and 25% after 9:00 p.m.
The height, weight and BMI of the boys and girls were checked when they reached the age of 15 years. After a calculated correction for the sensitivity of the mother and other factors – birth weight, socioeconomic status, ethnicity and mother’s age – the researchers found that the boys and girls who went to bed at 8:00 PM or earlier had a 50% lower risk of obesity compared to those who went to bed after 21:00.
“There is a lot of evidence linking poor sleep, and especially short sleep duration, to obesity, and it is possible that the timing of sleep may be more significant than the duration of sleep,” said Dr. Sarah Anderson, an epidemiologist at Ohio State University, who led the study. “Going to bed early It is something tangible that families can do to reduce their children’s risk of obesity, and it probably has positive benefits on behavior as well as social , emotional and cognitive development.“
“He doesn’t sleep enough, it will harm his development!”, “You must not wake a sleeping baby – not even for food!”. Every new and tired parent has encountered this – advice, myths and old remedies. Which myths about baby sleep are true and how do you really improve their sleep habits (and ours)?
The claim is that going to bed late leaves more time awake for children and allows for more food consumption. Lack of sleep causes fatigue, therefore less physical activity. In addition, lack of sleep causes a decrease in the level of the hormone leptin and an increase in the concentration of the hormone ghrelin – resulting in an increase in appetite and a tendency to obesity that is clearly manifested in adolescence. Lack of sleep is one of the most significant challenges of parenting. No one can guarantee you continuous sleep without waking up, but it is possible to learn and create a useful routine for you and the baby , and also disprove some myths along the way. This way you can prevent risk of obesity.
The researchers reinforce the latest recommendations published by the Association of Pediatricians and the Society for Sleep Research in USA regarding ensuring sufficient hours of sleep for children of all ages. The early intervention may prevent a high proportion of children who will reach the age of 15 suffering from overweight and obesity.