Children’s insomnia linked to obesity

Recent research published in the April journal of Sleep (https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsy018) from the University of Warwick has show that children who do not get enough sleep are twice as likely to be overweight than children who do get enough sleep.

They looked at different age groups (infants (0 to <3 years); early childhood (3 to <9 years); middle childhood (9 to <12 years), and adolescents (12 to 18 years). The results showed that “short sleep duration is a risk factor or marker of the development of obesity in infants, children, and adolescents“. Specifically they found that:

  • In babies less than 1 year old who got less than 12 hours sleep, there was a 40% increased risk of weight gain.
  • For children between 3-9 who got less than 9-10 hours sleep, there was a 57% increased risk of weight gain.
  • For children between 9-13 who slept less than 9 hours per night, there was double the risk of increased weight.

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) in America recommends different sleep durations for different age groups. The recommendations, as stated on their website, are as follows:

  • newborn (0–3 months), 14–17 hours sleep per night
  • infant (4–11 months) 12–15 hours sleep per night
  • toddler (1–2 years), 11–14 hours sleep per night
  • preschool-age (3–5 years), 10–13 hours sleep per night
  • school-age (6–13 years), 9–11 hours sleep per night
  • teenage (14–17 years), 8–10 hours sleep per night

The study also reported the results of brain imaging studies of people with poor sleep compared to those who sleep well. The study showed that sleep loss increased brain activity in areas of the brain which make you want to eat:

When you do not get enough sleep, your brain makes you feel more hungry than you would have been if you had slept well.

This Morning’s Dr Chris explained the results:

https://twitter.com/thismorning/status/986292455086571520?s=21

If you are worried that your child is not getting enough sleep, contact us today to see if we can help you with our children’s sleep services.

Welcome to the new Trouble Sleeping website

Welcome to the new Trouble Sleeping website.

I am Dr Lindsay Browning and I received my Doctorate in insomnia from The University of Oxford where I studied how worry and rumination affect sleep. I set up Trouble Sleeping in 2006 to help people overcome these issues as well as other sleeping problems.

As a mother, I have used my expertise to help my own children when they have had trouble sleeping – as everyone experiences from time to time. The real problems arise when a period of poor sleep (such as following an illness, work or exam stress, a bereavement, etc.) becomes permanent.

Whilst I was living in Singapore and America, where I taught Anatomy and Physiology at University, I have seen how insomnia is an issue that affects everyone across the world – men, women and children from all walks of life. It is an issue that many people think that they just have to live with. But you do not.

I offer a service here where you can get expert tailored advice specific to your particular sleeping difficulties, for both adults and children. Also, corporate advice is offered too.

In addition, I hope that this website can become a forum for information and news about sleep for anyone interested in sleep.

“A well spent day brings happy sleep.”
Leonardo da Vinci

Dr Lindsay Browning