Listen up, five and six-year-olds: Go to bed! A new study found that kindergarten-aged kids who got less than 10.5 hours of sleep had severely increased chances at becoming obese by their teenage years.
Researchers analyzed data from about 1,900 children in England. The researchers had about 15 years of follow-up on the children they were able to find that the kids who got the least amount of sleep at ages 5 and 6 had between a 60 percent and 100 percent increased chances of becoming obese by age 15.
Adding to their findings, the researchers also found that 25 percent of the children were at increased risk of obesity due to sleep-related breathing problems such as snoring and sleep apnea. Those who had the most severe sleep-related breathing problems had twice as much of a chance to become obese by as young as 7-years-old.
"We know that the road to obesity often begins early in life. Our research strengthens the case that insufficient sleep and SDB (sleep-disordered breathing) -- especially when present early in childhood -- increase the risk for becoming obese later in childhood," said study author Karen Bonuck, a professor of family and social medicine, and obstetrics, gynecology and women's health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.
However, children past the age of six who got too little sleep were not at increased risk for obesity, according to the study.
These results just show the significance of a good night’s sleep for young children. Your kids may be cute and all but they need their beauty sleep too.
How many hours does your child sleep at night?