How your Child’s Bedtime Affects their Weight

how childs bedtime affects their weightThousand Oaks, Westlake Village and Agoura Hills, CA

Recently, a survey published in The Journal of Pediatrics, conducted by Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, revealed that children who consistently go to bed before 8 p.m. are 50% less likely to become an obese teen. Here’s what you need to know about the study and how an earlier bedtime may need to be in your kids’ future.

The study began in 1991, taking into account 1,000 children, age 4 ½. Their bedtimes were recorded every night, and their weight and height were checked about ten years later, at age 15. The study revealed results that determined a child’s obesity rate for the children who went to bed by 8 p.m. (10%), between 8 and 9 p.m. (16%), and after 9 p.m. (23%).

Several other factors were taken into account such as parenting style, parental obesity, and socioeconomic status. However, the results of the study still point to the fact that children with a consistent bedtime of 8 p.m. were nearly half as likely to become obese teens, as opposed to children with a bedtime of 9 p.m. or later. It is important, however, to highlight the fact that an early bedtime does not necessarily prevent obesity but it does help. Other factors such as diet and lifestyle play a significant role in weight gain and obesity rates.

These findings may not be surprising to some of you. But, reading this blog may have you wanting to start a better bedtime routine for your child, in efforts of keeping them healthy and well rested. Here are some times for implementing a healthy sleep routine.

Be Consistent

Always be consistent with bedtime. This means even on the weekends and holidays when your child does not necessarily have to wake up at the same time every morning. Set a bedtime and stick to it, regardless.

Wake-up At Same Time

Our bodies crave consistency when it comes to sleep. This means that your child should plan on waking up at the same time every day. Even just one hour of sleeping in on the weekends could be enough to throw off their sleep schedule.

Wind Down

This is especially necessary for small children. Wind down at least an hour before bedtime. Create a routine such as reading or light play during this hour. The purpose is to help calm them down and get ready for bed. Other routines to add might be to brush their teeth right before bed, which is also good for their oral health. Be sure to avoid sugar at least several hours before bedtime. If snacks are a must, choose one that is low in sugar and carbohydrates.

Pediatric Sleep Apnea Evaluation in Agoura Hills

At The Connection, we believe there are other factors such as sleep apnea that can hinder a child’s ability to get a good nights’ sleep. If you believe your child is not sleeping well, consider an airway evaluation by us at The Connection by calling (818) 672-5055.

The Connection provides oral health care with a holistic approach for patients in the Agoura Hills and Westlake Village communities of southern California.

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