If the nightly bedtime struggle has you wanting to give up on trying to get your little ones to bed on time, new research may motivate you to keep fighting the good fight. A new study finds a link between a later bedtime and an increased risk of obesity in kids.
The research followed 107 children from ages one to six, monitoring their weight, height, and waist circumference, as well as their sleep - for seven consecutive nights once a year during the study, the kids wore a sleep tracker. And the results show the kids who habitually went to bed late - which researchers define as after 9pm - had a wider waist and higher body mass index by the end of the study.
Study author Dr. Claude Marcus suggests that staying up past nine could be a sign of an “overall lifestyle that puts kids at greater risk of being overweight,” rather than their weight gain being directly connected to their bedtime. But he says parents shouldn’t rush to get their preschoolers to sleep earlier as a result and suggests maintaining a regular routine for meals and bed times.