“After controlling for sex, race, maternal education, sleep problems like nightmares and other variables, the authors found that for every hour that sleep time declined over the three years, children were about 40 percent more likely to be overweight. The protective effect came mostly from earlier bedtimes rather than later wake times. ” (Link)
I have issues getting through my day if I get even a minute below six hours of sleep every night. I aim for eight hours, but nine out of ten times I get seven hours of sleep per night. Occasionally, I end up getting six hours of sleep. I have adapted to this odd occurrence (mind you, I could not do it every night).
I could not imagine losing hours of sleep over a three year period. I am a strong believer in sleep debt. Any sleep that you put off, your body creates a toll. This is why we occasionally need to sleep in, especially after weeks of studying. Creating a good sleep pattern is something that should be done in early life. My parents always imposed a bed time for me (until I was in middle school, or so). Then it became my responsibility. Throughout the years, I have trained myself and have gotten used to going to bed before midnight. There is no need for me to stay up into the morning hours. It is all about time management.
This article is yet another reason that sleep patterns should be established early in life. Our society has enough problems with obesity and overweight children. If something as easy as getting eight outs of sleep could be a factor in avoiding such problems; by all means try to ensure your children get enough sleep.
[tags]Sleep, obesity, sleep debt, childhood, jfcapasso[/tags]