Study: sleeplessness in children linked to overweight

November 20, 2008

Twenty-six percent of children ages 2 and a half to 6 who sleep fewer than 10 hours a night may be overweight, according to a University of Montreal study.

Twenty-six percent of children ages 2 and a half to 6 who sleep fewer than 10 hours a night may be overweight, according to a University of Montreal study.

The findings, which come from an analysis of 1,138 children, also found that 7.4% of children who slept fewer than 10 hours were obese.

More sleep was linked to a drop in overweight status. Children who sleep 10 hours are less likely to be overweight (15%), and children who sleep 11 hours are even less likely to be overweight (10%).

In addition, hyperactivity was also linked to inadequate sleep. At age 2 and a half, 22% of children who slept fewer than 10 hours were hyperactive at age 6, which was twice the rate among those children who slept 10 to 11 hours per night.