Bellevue Personal Training | Childhood Lack of Sleep Linked to Obesity

A recent study revealed that, for weight management, children need a good nights’ sleep as much as exercise and healthy nutrition. A comprehensive research review of 42 studies, with 75,499 participants, conducted by University of Warwick, in Coventry England, found that ‘short sleep duration’ in infants, children and adolescents were a risk factor for gaining weight and becoming obese. “Being overweight can lead to cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, which is also on the increase in children,” said lead study author Michelle A. Miller, PhD.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends optimum sleep levels for different stages of childhood. Children who sleep less than these levels are defined as short sleepers.

Newborn (0 - 3months): Need 14 – 17 hours
Infants (4 – 11 months): Need 12 – 15 hours
Toddlers (1 – 2 years): Need 11 – 14 hours
Preschool age (3 – 5 years): Need 10 – 13 hours
School age (6 – 13 years): Need 9 – 11 hours
Teenage (14 – 17 years): Need 8 – 10 hours

Just as we need to set boundaries with ourselves regarding technology use at night and making a ‘non-negotiable pact’ regarding sleep and good health, so do we need to adopt the same practice for our children. Our health and longevity, and that of our children, depends on it!

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