Child obesity linked to lack of sleep?

By: Dr. Steve Salvatore, Co-Owner of AAPT

How much sleep does your child get on the weekends?  The answer to this question may give you some indication as to whether your child is at risk for gaining weight.  According to a report in the American Journal of Pediatrics, overweight children are more likely to stay up late on the weekends.  The children averaged 8 hours per night throughout the week, but on the weekends the obese children had shorter and more irregular sleep patterns.

If kids do not get enough sleep it starts a vicious cycle triggering hormones that can make them more hungry, hence increasing the risk of obesity even further.  The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that pre-school aged children get 11-13 hours of nightly sleep, while school aged children should get 10-11 hours per night.

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