Friday, May 12, 2023

Sleep Deprivation And Energy Intake In Children

The Study

In this interesting study, 105 children between the ages of 8 and 12 went to bed 1 hour earlier for 7 days and then 1 hour later for 7 days. They had their food intake measured throughout the study period. 

Here is what they found:

-During sleep restriction, children consumed 86 more calories per day then when well slept. This does not sound like much, but if consumed over a full year, would result in 9 lbs. gained.

-During sleep restriction, children consumed significantly more total sugars, ultra-processed foods and sugar sweetened beverages.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2023; 117:317-25.

Take Home Message

For the last several decades, the research on the importance of sleep in weight maintenance has really started to build.  There is evidence that sleep deprivation influences hormones that dictate appetite, such as leptin and ghrelin. There is also evidence that metabolism slows down and you burn fewer calories when under slept.

Proper sleep is also really important for your energy, mood and immune system. For adults, hit a minimum of 7 hours per night. The number varies for children. This study looked at 8-12 year old’s and the range for them is 8 to 11 hours per night.

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