More Evidence Ties Poor Sleep to Obesity in Kids
Study highlights need for consistent bedtime, experts say
Ongoing studies are looking at whether improving sleep may directly improve weight control in children, Taveras said. And it's already known that good sleep has other benefits. "There's really good evidence that shows it improves schoolwork," she said.
For the study, mothers reported their children's usual sleep duration in a 24-hour period, beginning at age 6 months. They also reported it every year from age 1 to 7.
The children got a sleep score, ranging from zero (insufficient sleep) to 13 (consistent sufficient sleep). The average sleep score was 10.2. However, about 4 percent of kids were in the insufficient range, zero to 4. About 40 percent had a score of 12 or 13, termed enough sleep.
Those who slept less than average were more likely to be from poorer families with less educated mothers, the study found.