Insufficient sleep in children is associated with poor diet, obesity and more screen time

Examining sleep duration and the association between insufficient sleep duration and lifestyle factors in a representative sample of Greek children and adolescents.


Sleep is essential for optimal health in children and adolescents. Healthy sleep requires adequate duration, appropriate timing, good quality, regularity, and the absence of sleep disturbances or disorders. Sleep duration is a frequently investigated sleep measure in relation to health.

In a new study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggests that insufficient sleep duration is associated with an unhealthy lifestyle profile among children and adolescents.

The outcomes demonstrated that the deficient sleep duration was related with unfortunate dietary propensities, for example, skipping breakfast (balanced chances proportion 1.30), fast food consumption (OR 1.35) and expending desserts frequently (OR 1.32). Inadequate sleep duration additionally was related with expanded screen time (OR 1.26) and being overweight/obesity (OR 1.21).

Scientists gathered the data from a school-based wellbeing study finished in Greece by 177,091 kids (51 percent male) between the ages of 8 and 17 years. Dietary habits, normal weekday and end of the week resting hours, physical activity status, and inactive exercises were surveyed through electronic polls finished at school.

Kids who announced that they, for the most part, restless than nine hours out of every day, and adolescents dozing less than eight hours of the day, were named having deficient rest. Anthropometric and physical wellness estimations were gotten by physical training instructors.

A greater proportion of males than females (42.3 percent versus 37.3 percent) and of children compared with adolescents (42.1 percent versus 32.8 percent) reported insufficient sleep duration. Adolescents with an insufficient sleep duration also had lower aerobic fitness and physical activity.

Senior author Labros Sidossis, Ph.D. said, “Approximately 40 percent of schoolchildren in the study slept less than recommended. Insufficient sleeping levels were associated with poor dietary habits, increased screen time and obesity in both genders.”

“The most surprising finding was that aerobic fitness was associated with sleep habits. In other words, better sleep habits were associated with better levels of aerobic fitness. We can speculate that adequate sleep results in higher energy levels during the day. Therefore, children who sleep well are maybe more physically active during the day and hence have a higher aerobic capacity.”

“Insufficient sleep duration among children constitutes an understated health problem in Westernized societies. Taking into consideration these epidemiologic findings, parents, teachers and health professionals should promote strategies emphasizing healthy sleeping patterns for school-aged children in terms of quality and duration.”

The study results are published in the Oct. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

The study recommends that children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep nine to 12 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health. Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep eight to 10 hours.

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