HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A new study says making sure your little ones get enough sleep might be one of the best things you could do for their health – both now and later on in life.
The study published in The Journal of Pediatrics found that having a late bedtime is directly linked with a greater chance of obesity as an adult
Researchers at Ohio University tracked 1,000 children from preschool to adolescence to find out what time they went to bed when they were 4½ years old. Their research concluded preschool children consistently asleep before 8 p.m. were half as likely to be obese as adults than children with late bedtimes.
Ten percent of children with the earliest bedtimes were obese teens, while 23 percent of those who went to bed after 9 p.m. were obese in their teen years.
Medical professionals stress that children with a regular early bedtime are more likely to get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep can cause changes to the hormones that control appetite and metabolism.
Doctors went on to say an early bedtime benefits a child’s physical health, as well as mood and mental health, because it allows time for restorative sleep. Restorative sleep is said to be important for the repair and recovery of the brain and the body.
Many in the medical world stress that sleeping is just as important as eating and breathing, as we spend a third of our lives snoozing and dreaming.