Getting shuteye by 8 p.m. appeared linked with lower obesity risk as teens, researchers say
Sending preschoolers off to bed early may bring them an unexpected benefit: less chance of obesity when they are teens.
So suggests research that compared preschoolers who went to bed at 8 p.m. with same-age kids who had later bedtimes. A team at the Ohio State University College of Public Health found that a bedtime just one hour later seemed to double the likelihood that young children will be obese teens.
“For parents, this reinforces the importance of establishing a bedtime routine,” said the study’s lead author, Sarah Anderson, an associate professor of epidemiology. “It’s something concrete that families can do to lower their child’s risk.”
She added that the earlier bedtime is also likely to benefit youngsters’ social and emotional development as well as their brain development.
The study reviewed data on nearly 1,000 children who were part of a study that followed healthy babies born in 1991 at 10 U.S. locations.