No matter what your age, too little sleep and too-late bedtimes may result in weight gain according to new research.
Babies, toddler and preschoolers need plenty of sleep and when they don’t get enough, it takes a toll. Due to busier schedules and more casual bedtimes, kids these days are sleeping less than their parents did at similar ages and going to bed later.
It has been shown that quality of sleep is very much linked to metabolism and any disruption could lead to weight gain in the long run.
A recent study conducted on young adults and adolescents showed that a later bedtime was associated with weight gain regardless of the total hours of sleep. This could be due to a number of possible causes such as eating meals later in the day. In a study conducted last year in Akron, Ohio it was found that there are significant associations between sleep quality, duration, bedtime stability and obesity.
“There is a strong relationship between sleep duration and obesity in both children and adults, in particular between short sleep and obesity,” says Dr Nathaniel Watson, president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Not only is the quality of sleep important but also the time of day. Nighttime sleep is associated with the release of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. In addition, untreated sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can reduce people’s motivation to exercise and also reduce their energy and vitality.
According to Watson, sleep should be viewed as a tool for a more effective life. So, here are our top 6 suggestions on ways to improve sleep and create healthier bedtime routines:
- Develop a wind-down routine that includes relaxing activities such as meditation or yoga
- Keep children on a consistent bedtime routine
- Maintain similar weekday and weekend bedtimes
- Start dimming the lights one to two hours before bedtime
- Make the bedroom a technology free zone an hour before bedtime
- Create weekend bedtimes no more than an hour later than weekday bedtimes to avoid “social jet lag”
1. Esposito, L (2015) “How your bedtime affects your BMI”. Huffington Post. Accessed online on 7th January 2015 athttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-your-bedtime-affects-your-bmi_563a47c8e4b0411d306f2746?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living