Getting less sleep could increase your child’s risk of becoming overweight or obese, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have found. In fact, for each additional hour of sleep children get, their risk for obesity drops by 9 percent.
Researchers found that children with the shortest sleep time had a 92 percent higher risk of being overweight or obese when compared with children who experienced longer sleep durations. Short sleep durations were categorized as follows:
- Children younger than 5—less than 9 hours per day
- Children ages 5–10—less than 8 hours per day
- Children older than 10—less than 7 hours per day
Previous research has recommended the following daily sleep times for children:
- Younger than 5—11 hours or more per day
- 5 to 10—10 hours or more per day
- Older than 10—9 hours or more per day
The findings were originally published in the journal Obesity.