If you want a good reason to go to bed early, then we might just have what you are looking for. It appears that if you go to sleep late, you are practically begging to get fat. A study published the journal Sleep this week has drawn this conclusion, causing some debates on whether this is or is not true. But it really seems like a full working day with no exercise and a late night sleep can make you gain weight fast.
The population that participated in this study is by no means small. We are talking about 3,300 young adults and teenagers whose data was analyzed over the course of 15 years and at different periods of time.
Lauren Asarnow, the study’s author has expressed her concerns about obesity and the lack of sleep. She claimed that there is “an epidemic lack of sleep” in teenagers and that they go to sleep very late in general. With weight gain on the rise as well, Asarnow said that there was some literature looking at this link on short periods of time, but nobody looked at what the effects were over a longer time span.
And what has been found out is quite worrying: it appears that every hour of sleep you miss translates into 2.1 point increase in your weight. And it is a silent process, it builds up, then you wake up five years later and you realize how fat you are. That 2.1 goes directly to your body mass index (BMI) and then you can check how far you are from the actual track.
The national Institutes of Health have a specific measuring system that can tell you whether you are healthy or obese and it goes as follows: a healthy adult’s BMI should range in between 18.5 and 24.9. If you find yourself in between 25 and 29.9, you are obese. And, needless to say, 30 and above means that you are obese.
But everything changed when the study discovered that bedtime and BMI were not only conditioned by how much you sleep. Late sleeping was not as deterring as going to bed late. So, to put it very simple, if you go to bed early you will stay healthy and fit.
Now for the parenting advice: if you want you’re your teenagers not to get fat, make sure they go to be at an appropriate hour. This will also educate them into going to sleep at reasonable times and have greater impact on the long run. If they were used to going to bed at 10 or 11 p.m. for 10 years straight, then they will maintain the same timeframe when they grow older too.
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