Bed Time And Obesity: Research Reveals Obesity Is Linked To Bed Time Routines During Preschool

By Abbie Kraft, Parent Herald January 15, 06:28 pm

Parents should be keen when it comes to imposing bedtime routines. It was reported a preschooler's sleep cycle can highly affect his/her overall health by the time the toddler would reach adulthood.

A study revealed that preschools should have an established bedtime routine and should get proper sleep. A team of researchers discovered that a child's bedtime schedule can lead to obesity by the time they would reach teenage years if taken for granted. As per Knowridge, pediatricians would make it a point to advise parents that a toddler (especially pre-preschoolers) who are hitting the sack by 8:00 pm are less likely to develop obesity compared to their peers.

"For parents, this reinforces the importance of establishing a bedtime routine," Sarah Anderson, lead author and associate professor of epidemiology, stated. "It's something concrete that families can do to lower their child's risk and it's also likely to have positive benefits on behavior and on social, emotional and cognitive development."

Obesity has taken its toll over the years in the United States. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 percent of the 12.7 million children, including teenagers are struggling with obesity. 

Dr. Meena Khan, a sleep medicine specialist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center then added that setting up a bedtime routine gives children a glimpse of what to expect. Khan added that it is easier for children to adapt to a certain routine. Thus, consistency in terms of establishing a stable bedtime schedule can pave the way to a healthier adult.

Furthermore, Parents noted that lack of sleep increases the hunger hormone, ghrelin, which can lead to obesity. Aside from sleep deprivation, the child can potentially be exposed to stressors, which can trigger weight gain as well.

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