Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Weekend 'Catch-Up' Sleep May Help Kids' Weight

Study: Children Who Don't Get Enough Sleep Have Higher Risk of Obesity, but Sleeping in on the Weekends May Help

Expert: Catching Up Easier for Older Kids

But Gozal says the evidence supporting the association continues to mount.

“There is very little respect for sleep in our society, and we think this needs to change,” he says.

Pediatrician and sleep researcher Julie Lumeng, MD, of the University of Michigan, agrees that the research on sleep and childhood obesity supports, but does not prove, a link between the two.

Lumeng’s own research, published in 2007, found that sixth graders who averaged less than 8 1/2 hours of sleep each night were almost twice as likely to be obese as sixth-graders who slept more than 9 1/2 hours.

She says for younger children, like the ones in the study, having a regular bedtime and a regular nightly routine may be particularly important.

She says although older children and teens may be able to catch up on lost sleep on weekends, younger children usually cannot do this.

“Teens can easily sleep until noon or even 1 if they have been up late the night before, but young children’s brains are not wired to allow them to do this,” she says. “If a 7-year-old stays up until midnight on a Saturday night, she is probably still going to wake up early the next day.”

1|2

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
 
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.
 

worried kid
fitArticle
boy on father's shoulder
Article
 
Child with red rash on cheeks
Slideshow
girl thinking
Article
 

babyapp
New
Child with adhd
Slideshow
 
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply