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Lack of Sleep Increases Obesity and Body Fat in Children

Good sleep habits in childrenPediatrics has published a large study linking reduced sleep and childhood obesity.  The children who consistently received less than the recommended hours of sleep during infancy and early childhood had increases in both obesity and in adiposity or overall body fat at age 7.

Insufficient sleep was defined as less than 12 hours per day from ages 6 months to 2 years, less than 10 hours per day for ages 3 and 4, and less than 9 hours per day from age 5 to 7.

The results of the study indicated the following:

  1. children with the lowest sleep scores had the highest levels of all body measurements for obesity and adiposity, including abdominal fat which is considered to be particularly hazardous.
  2. association was consistent at all ages, indicting there was no critical period for the interaction between sleep and weight.

The researchers recommend that parents and children should be educated on good sleep habits.

Reference:  Medical Express.  Chronic insufficient sleep increases obesity, overall body fat in children. Retrieved from the web on 5/21/14 at http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-05-chronic-insufficient-obesity-body-fat.html#nwlt.

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Autism Sleeps

Autism Sleeps™ serves as a thorough resource of sleep sensory strategies and suggestions for preparing the “sleep environment”. Sample bedtime and wake-up routines are provided as templates, especially to guide parents of children with sleep difficulties.

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