For teens, late bed­time may lead to weight gain

Daily Trust - - HEALTH -

Teens may have a new rea­son to take their par­ents’ ad­vice and go to bed early. Stay­ing up late on week­nights may in­crease a teen’s risk of be­com­ing over­weight over time, a new study says.

For the study, re­searchers an­a­lyzed data from more than 3,300 Amer­i­can teens and found that each ex­tra hour of late bed­time was as­so­ci­ated with a more than two-point in­crease in body mass in­dex (BMI). BMI is an es­ti­mate of body fat based on weight and height.

The link be­tween late bed­times and BMI in­crease was not sig­nif­i­cantly af­fected by to­tal sleep time, amount of ex­er­cise, or time spent in front of com­put­ers or tele­vi­sions, the in­ves­ti­ga­tors found.

“The re­sults are im­por­tant be­cause they high­light ado­les­cent bed­times, not just to­tal sleep time, as a po­ten­tial tar­get for weight man­age­ment con­cur­rently and in the tran­si­tion to adult­hood,” first au­thor Lau­ren Asarnow, a doc­toral can­di­date at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley, said in a news re­lease from the Amer­i­can Academy of Sleep Medicine.

The study, pub­lished in the Oc­to­ber is­sue of the jour­nal Sleep, doesn’t prove that night owls are des­tined to be over­weight, how­ever. The find­ings only show an as­so­ci­a­tion be­tween bed­time and weight, not a cause­and-ef­fect re­la­tion­ship.

Teens need a lit­tle more than nine hours of sleep a night, ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Academy of Sleep Medicine.

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