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Fighting Childhood Obesity With a Good Night's Sleep

In the latest study to support the strong link between sleep and obesity, researchers found that kids who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight than kids who do.

Sleep deprivation is a double-edged sword when it comes to kids’ weight. First, it increases levels of the hormone grehlin, which increases appetite, while decreasing levels of the hormone leptin, which makes people feel full. Meanwhile, tired kids are, obviously, less likely to want to go outside and be active in their free time.

The study found that many kids are simply not getting enough sleep, and those who slept just one hour less per night than their peers tended to weigh about five pounds more. My Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep is full of tips to help your child get some quality sleep, but you may also need to adjust their bedtime, especially if they have to get up early for school or day care.

Meanwhile, along with a good night’s sleep, the following methods can help your child maintain a healthy weight:

USA Today February 6, 2007