Kids Who Sleep More Weigh Less & Perform Better Enough Sleep?

Parents, are your kids getting enough shut eye?

If your young ones dose off enough, they may be able to ward off obesity and even do well in school.

Indeed, recent studies reveal that insufficient sleep can lead to obesity, poor eating habits, not enough execise and poor academic performance.

In fact, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) urges adolescents to get about nine hours of sleep so they can reach their full potential in both school and their personal lives.

“Getting the proper quantity and quality of sleep is just as important as the proper diet in allowing your child to function their best,” said AASM spokesperson William C. Kohler, MD, of the Florida Sleep Institute. “Sleep problems can lead to difficulty in behavior and academic performance.”

But parents, if your kids don’t get enough sleep time, they’re at increased risk of depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Plus, they may become moody and irritable, have reduced memory functioning, delayed reaction time and a lack of motivation.

What’s more, the AASM warns, “students who suffer from chronic sleep deprivation may have difficulty learning, thinking, making decisions, using good judgment or solving problems. Adolescents’ immune system and overall health may also be compromised.”

Check out some of these fascinating sleep studies, including one from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, which found that less sleep could increase a child’s risk of being overweight or obese.

Then, there was an Australian study that looked at 1,000 kids and which linked weight gain among boys to sleep deprivation. And another research project from the Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh discovered that getting too little sleep or not spending enough time in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is linked to children and teens being overweight.

Why does less sleep translate to more weight? The Australian researchers speculate that kids who sleep less may have more time to eat or they may be too tired to exercise. Another, more intriguing theory to me is that lack of sleep triggers changes in two important metabolic hormones — the brain hormone leptin, and ghrelin, which is made made by the stomach.

Whatever the reasons, parents, make sure your kids get their zzzzs.

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