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Does lack of sleep lead to obesity in kids?
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A new study published today in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine suggests a link between lack of sleep and obesity. Researchers studied 915 children at six months, a year and two years as well as interviewed their parents to collect the data.
According to the research, the less sleep an infant received at these ages the more likely he or she was to be overweight by the age of three. Another indicative factor considered was how much television the children were allowed to watch a day. The correlation there was the opposite: the more television watched the more likely the child was to be overweight.
Infants who slept less than twelve hours a day were twice as likely as their well-rested counterparts to be overweight by age three. Variables such as birthweight and breastfeeding were taken into consideration, yet the relationship still held despite these variables. Lead author of the study Dr. Elsie M. Taveras, who can also claim the title of assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard suggested parents keep the television out of the bedroom and avoid caffeinated beverages to promote good sleep habits.
I myself have tried to really solidify a good nightime routine with Mr. Pickles. We did that from day one, and, though at times it was tough and we didn't always have faith it was going to work, everything finally paid off. We turn down the lights, change his outfit, read him Goodnight Moon, sing to him, and then put him down and tuck him in. It took a lot of training for us to get that right and for him to trust in that, but once he was secure with that process he slept like a little angel.
Pic of sleeping baby by majorvols.