Here’s another study that reinforces how important sleep is (quantity and quality) when is comes to your weight. Researchers reported in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine that too little sleep in children younger than 5 to being more likely to be overweight or obese five years later. It’s very commonplace for young children to stay up late because they want to or to accommodate the parents’ schedules. Routinely I see toddlers and preschool children being taken to the movies and staying up past 11PM.
What this study reports about is a lack in the hours of sleep, but with sleep, quality usually goes hand in hand with quantity. Staying up later usually means that you’re more likely to snack closer to bedtime, or eat a late meal. This causes increased inflammation in the throat and the entire upper breathing passageways, leading to more obstructions and arousals. Eating close to bedtime is one of the most common habits that leads to poor quality sleep. Fortunately, it’s the first and the most obvious thing you can do to improve your child’s sleep quality.
I realize that for some parents, eating earlier and putting their child to bed can be challenging, but if you look at the long-term health implications of continuing this habit, it’s too important to ignore.
How many hours do your children sleep? Please enter your responses in the comments box below.