Kids Need Z's

Study links insufficient, disorganized sleep in kids to higher risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease

(RxWiki News) Insufficient and disorganized sleep puts kids at higher risk of developing obesity and other health conditions, which may be able to be mitigated by "catch up" sleep on weekends and holidays.

Lead researcher Dr. David Gozal, chair of pediatrics at Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago, said children do not get enough sleep in the U.S., which may releate to rising obesity rates among kids.

Dr. Gozal and colleagues looked at sleep patterns in 308 children, ages 4 through 10, for one week and compared these patterns to body mass index (BMI), a measurement for obesity that factors in height and weight. The children averaged eight hours of sleep per night. Children should get 9.5 to 10 hours of sleep per night, according to Gozal.

Children who did get 9.5 to 10 hours of sleep per night did not display clinical markers for obesity, diabetes or cardiovascular problems. Conversely kids who did have disorganized sleep schedules and those who received the least amount of sleep had more than a four-fold increase of being obese, Gozal said. However, this risk was reduced to a 2.8-fold increase if the children caught up on sleep during weekends and on holidays.

Review Date: 
January 26, 2011