The Link between Sleep Deprivation and Childhood Obesity – Guest Post

About the Author: Robert Bates is the owner of and a former snorer himself.  He is determined to alert snorers Robert Bateseverywhere about the damage snoring can do your health, and the remedies available.

The Link between Sleep Deprivation and Childhood Obesity

One of the biggest health threats facing our country is the epidemic rates of obesity, especially among some of our younger populations.  Obesity can lead to cardiovascular disease, Type ll Diabetes as well as joint/muscle damage and esophageal erosion due to acid reflux.  So how does sleep factor into the obesity equation? Let’s take a look below and see:

When our sleep duration is shortened, it can wreak havoc upon our bodies.  Inside our brains, the lack of sleep can cause the secretion of a type of hormone that regulates metabolism and hunger.  The two hormones are leptin and ghrelin.  Leptin signals your brain that your body needs to eat, whereas ghrelin controls appetite suppression, so it appears that when you are chronically sleep-deprived these hormone levels are thrown out of whack, making the sufferer even more susceptible to eating more, feeling more tired and gaining more weight.  And sadly, this has been rising in increasing numbers of young children.

Today’s younger generations are often over-stimulated with electronic devices, television and computers which are not only mainly sedentary activities but keep the brain aroused so that it can be difficult to find sleep faster and deeper.  With later bedtimes and earlier mornings, children are exposed to a much different lifestyle than 40 or 50 years ago.  And when you consider most children also eat larger and unhealthier types of food as well, the results can be disastrous, long term and deadly.

To prevent young people from succumbing to the risks associated with obesity; make sure that you are regulating their diet choices and portions.  Keep them involved with some type of physical exercise program or sport and tuck away the electronics as well as the remote control at least an hour before bedtime.  Talk with their pediatrician about their sleeping habits as well.  Some children have issues like snoring, teeth grinding and night terrors which can also attribute to poorer overall sleep.

In extreme cases, surgery may be involved if problems such as enlarged adenoids are causing further sleep delays, but the doctor should rule out other factors and/or tips to try to get a better night’s sleep for them.  You can always try the old-fashioned route; bedtime story with a warm glass of milk.   This not only helps establish a wonderful ritual but will help calm and relax them.  When they are rested and relaxed, chances are sleep will come quicker and deeper for them.  Choose stories that are pleasant and age-appropriate.

The best part of your new approach to getting your child more sleep will be a happier child who is bound to be more productive at school and in turn will sleep better as well.

We all need are sleep, but to prevent a lifetime of health conditions, chronic disease and a lesser quality of life, start being proactive in your child’s sleep schedule.

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