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Help Your Child Create A Regular Sleep Schedule to Fight Obesity

According to the Los Angeles Times, a new study published in the journal Pediatrics found that younger children who get more regular sleep are less likely to be obese.

The study involved 308 children between the ages of 4 and 10. Children’s sleep time was analyzed for a week via wrist monitors. Researchers recorded Body Mass Index (BMI) which is a measurement of weight and height.  They also tested  levels of glucose and insulin in some of the children.

Results showed that obese children got less sleep and experienced more variations in their sleeping patterns compared to children of average weight.

Researchers concluded that children who sleep for less time and have irregular sleep schedules are at the greatest risk for health problems.

According to the CDC, childhood obesity has many serious consequences, including increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and asthma. Overweight and obese children are also at a higher risk for becoming socially stigmatized and developing low self-esteem, which can hinder academic and social functioning.

Many children fail to get the sleep they need because of poor sleep hygiene, or bad habits at bedtime; however, the child may be suffering from an undiagnosed sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea.

People often fail to realize that small children, as well as pre-teens and adolescents can suffer from a wide variety of sleep disorders, ranging from sleep apnea to night terrors.  Common symptoms of sleep disorders in children include

  • excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS)
  • disturbed, fragmented sleep
  • sleep walking and talking
  • confusional arousals
  • sleep enuresis (bed wetting)
  • snoring or heavy, labored breathing
  • difficulty concentrating, paying attention and remembering
  • depression and/or anxiety

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), children who are not getting the sleep they need may have developmental or behavioral problems. The AASM recommends the following guidelines for sleep times in children:

  • Infants (3 to 11 months): 14 to 15 hours
  • Toddlers: 12 to 14 hours
  • Preschoolers: 11 to 13 hours
  • School-age children: 10 to 11 hours


  1. Michael Studer says:

    I read your piece concerning leg cramps this morning (I am 63 and do not suffer this condition, however, my father did and cured himself) with interest.

    My Father suffered night time leg cramps and went to a Physician that I am sure checked all the things you mentioned in your article. Nothing worked for Dad. So Dad being my Dad, went about figuring this out on his own, which he was prone to do about nearly everything. He noticed the frequency of these cramps changed from day to day and deduced that something he was ingesting was causing the problem. Trial and error ended up with the culprit. Bleached White Sugar! Years before his self cure, he read a paperback book about the down sides of Bleached white sugar, and as he eliminated different things from his diet, the one constant was sugar in his Tea. Once bleached sugar was removed from his diet and he substituted honey, no more leg cramps. Not saying that Modern medicine isn’t wonderful, but at times in my opinion the Medical community over reacts with high tech medicines and procedures.

    I cured my infestation of chiggars by myself. I tried straight up bleach from a bottle. Nope! Alcohol? Nope. Salt water? Yep, sprayed from a cleanser bottle. Table salt (nearly 100% saturation. OUCH!!!). Also, one more thing. Although it does not cure chiggars, Mint falvored Listerine stop the itch of chiggars, mosquito bites, and other topical itches and you smell Minty fresh!!! Works!! Can’t argue success. have a great day… Mike Studer, Laceys Spring, Alabama

  2. Mike, I could not agree more. Modern medicine often takes the high tech or pharmaceutical approach when diet or lifestyle change can make all the difference. Thanks for sharing your dad’s solution for his leg cramps.

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