Early-to-Bed Kids at Less Risk of Obesity

Keeping a Healthy Bedtime Schedule




Yuriy Chertok/Shutterstock.com

Research from the Ohio State University College of Public Health, in Columbus, suggests that the risk of childhood obesity, a growing concern in the U.S., can be reduced by putting children to bed before 8 p.m.

The researchers examined reports from mothers of 977 4-and-a-half-year-old children born in 1991 regarding their typical weekday bedtimes. The answers were divided into three categories: 8 p.m. or earlier, between 8 and 9 p.m. and later. Responses were compared to the obesity levels of the same children at an average age of 15. Of the group with the earliest bedtime, comprising about 25 percent of the subjects, only one in 10 were obese, compared to 16 percent of those with childhood bedtimes between 8 and 9 p.m., representing 50 percent of the subjects. The youngsters that went to bed the latest reported a 23 percent obesity rate, the highest overall.

Dr. Meena Khan, a sleep medicine specialist at the university’s Wexner Medical Study Center, comments about the challenge of maintaining proper bedtimes: “Kids do well with a schedule and a routine.”


This article appears in the January 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Eat Right to Sleep Well

Rather than popping a pill, eating certain foods can kick-start hormones that help us get a long, deep night’s sleep.

We Need Clean Waters

Efforts are underway around the country to make polluted waterways clean again and to instill local appreciation for their many helpful roles.

Peter Gros on Preserving Wild Nature

The wildlife expert explains why we should appreciate wolves, snakes and bats and what he finds encouraging about an enlightened focus on wildlife protection.

Running with the Kids

Families with children as young as 5 easily bond when they mindfully run together at a fun pace.

Livable Communities We Love

Across the country, cities from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh to Portland are finding fresh new ways to create engaging street life for residents while eco-upgrading their green spaces, services and infrastructure.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags