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Poor sleep causing child weight issues - study

14-04-2010

Children who regularly get poor quality sleep during the week are more likely to become overweight, according to a new Australian study.

“Kids who are overweight and obese sleep less, and it’s probably because they sleep less they have a predisposition to being overweight, and not the other way around,” said Professor Tim Olds from the University of South Australia. “We know that short sleep can increase the hormones which make you very hungry and decrease the hormones which make you feel satisfied.”

As well as the weight issues, the lack of weeknight sleep was also found to have clear impacts on memory, cognitive ability and general academic performance. The research found that while many children attempted to make up for their weeknight sleep deficit by sleeping for far longer periods over weekends, however this was found to cause a sleep deficit that carried over into the following week.

Over 4000 children aged between 9 and 17 across the country were studied as part of the investigation. The results of the study were published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

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