We all have a rough idea on how much our young ones sleep, in the early days especially when you try to grab as sleep time yourself before the interruptions!
New research has highlighted another reason for us to keep any eye on their sleep patterns. It has proven that children who sleep less tend to eat more increasing the risk of obesity and the problems that can cause in later life.
The actual findings show that a 16 month old who slept for ten hours or less per day consumes ten per cent more calories on average than those that slept for more than 13 hours.
Whether this is true simply because they are awake for longer periods and have more time to eat is not known but Abi fisher of the Health Behaviour Research Centre at University College, London confirmed, “The key message here is that shorter sleeping children may prone to consume too many calories,”
While the research agrees that the exact causes remain unclear, the regulation of appetite hormones are likely to be disrupted by a shorter sleeping pattern, the study suggests.
Abi Fisher goes on to say, “Although more research is needed to understand why this might be, it is something parents should be made aware of.”
The obesity problem in the UK continues to grow and any breakthrough in alleviating the problem must be welcomed and understood.
The study was the first to directly link sleep to energy intake in children under the age of three. It involved monitoring over 1,300 families with researchers monitoring sleep when children were 16 months old and their diet when they reach 21 months old.
Take a look at our previous blog post on useful tips for children who won’t sleep.
The report was published in the International Journal of Obesity