Less than 9 hours of sleep leads to obesity in kids: research

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Sydney, Jan 4 (UNI) 'Early to bed and Early to rise' is the simplest way to keep your kids healthy and active as children who get less than nine hours of sleep a night are more likely to be overweight or obese, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand carried out a study and found sleep-deprived kids have more than a 3 per cent increase in body fat on average compared with youngsters who sleep for more than nine hours nightly.

They also said children's sleep patterns vary by season and day: they sleep less in summer and at weekends.

Researchers studied the sleep patterns of 591 seven-year-old children. The children were assessed at birth, at 1, 3 1/2 and 7 years. They found that shorter sleep led to increase in body weight, and greater emotional volatility.

Notingly, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends children in preschool sleep 11-13 hours a night and school-aged children 10-11 hours, the Herald Sun reported.

The academy also suggested parents to give their children an opportunity to get the recommended amount of sleep by keeping a consistent bedtime routine in a relaxed setting.

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