Adolescents who don’t get enough sleep tend to put on more weight according to a new study. The lack of sleep may make the children less active and staying awake may cause them to eat more researchers theorize.
If you thought that your teenager is overweight because he or she’s not getting enough exercise, you could be way off! According to a new study conducted by the Seattle Children’s Research Institute children may be putting on a lot of weight due to lack of sleep!
During the study, researchers monitored 700 teenage boys and girls and collected data on how much sleep they got on weekdays and weekends. On three occasions during the study, the adolescents were also questioned about what sort of foods and beverages they consumed during the previous day. BMI (Body Mass Index) readings were also taken for each child. For seven days, each of the children wore an accelerometer device which measured how active they are.
At the end of the study, the researchers found that the children who got less sleep tended to have a higher BMI, i.e. they tended to be heavier than their peers who got more sleep. The findings were more apparent in the boys as compared with the girls.
As to the logic behind these findings, the theory goes that when teenagers get less sleep they tend to be tired during the days, therefore less active, and therefore they don’t burn that much energy. Also because they are awake for longer hours, children may be having a lot of late night snacks.