Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Get to bed already

Study: Sleep more - weigh less!

A newsgroup,, had this conversation:

Sleep has been demonstrated to be an important regulator of many physiologic functions such as energy balance, appetite, and weight management. Lack of sleep has been linked to alterations in leptin and ghrelin levels (both regulators of appetite) and impaired glucose tolerance. Through these hormonal changes, long-term reductions in sleep may lead to weight gain. The link between sleep duration and obesity has been well established in adults; however, the potential association between short sleep duration or sleep problems and childhood overweight has not been well described.

Adequate Sleep Duration in Childhood May Help Prevent Overweight
> News Author: Laurie Barclay, MD
CME Author: Hien
> T. Nghiem, MD

Additional information below:

Children: Study Ties Too Little Sleep With Too Much Weight

A study of 7-year-olds has found that sleeping less than nine hours a
night was associated with being overweight or obese, even after
accounting for amounts of television watching and physical exercise.

More Vital Signs Columns »The study, being published Tuesday in the
journal Sleep, also found that short sleep duration was associated
with mood swings. The researchers had followed the subjects — 519
children in New Zealand — since birth, making periodic health and
developmental assessments and interviewing their parents.

Sleep time did not affect I.Q. scores or measures of attention-
deficit/hyperactivity disorder, but children who averaged less than
nine hours' sleep were significantly more likely than the others to
be overweight.

Using sleep monitors, the scientists discovered some other patterns
in the 7-year-olds. On average, the children stayed awake for 48
minutes after they went to bed, and slept about a half-hour longer on
weekdays than weekends. They slept the least in the summer: 40
minutes longer on winter nights, 31 minutes longer in the fall and 15
minutes longer in the spring. Having a younger sibling cost a 7-year-
old an average of 12 minutes of sleep per night.

"The study is important from the perspective of providing another
means of preventing the development of obesity," said Ed Mitchell,
the senior author and a professor of child health research at the
University of Auckland. "At least in New Zealand — and it needs to be
confirmed in other age groups — this seems to be an important factor."

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