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Earlier Bedtimes = Trimmer Bodies!

Earlier Bedtimes = Trimmer Bodies!

A recent study published October, 2015, in the journal Sleep found that bedtime for teens is an important component in weight management. Researchers followed over 3,300 adolescents from 1994 to 2009 to determine the effect of bedtime on body mass index (BMI).

Researchers concluded that between adolescence and adulthood, going to bed later during the workweek was associated with increased BMI over time. For every minute a teen went to bed late, there was an increase of 2.1 on the body mass index over a roughly five year period. The results were not affected by how many hours the participants slept each night, how much time they spent in front of a screen, or how much exercise they engaged in.

Similarly, a study concluded in 2004 showed that sleep deprivation alters appetite regulating hormones which can increase hunger and cravings, especially for high calorie refined carbohydrate foods.

An early bedtime is an often-neglected component of optimal health. While getting sufficient hours of sleep is important, we must realize that not all hours are created equal. Lauren Asarnow, doctoral candidate and lead author of the study says, “These results highlight adolescent bedtimes, not just total sleep time, as a potential target for weight management during the transition to adulthood.”  She suggests that adolescents who go to bed earlier will “set their weight on a healthier course as they emerge into adulthood.”

Take some time to look over my blogs on sleep. Getting adequte sleep offers a wide-range of immediate and long-term health benefits. Sleep boosts our immune system, repairs our body, lowers our risk of Alzheimer's, and helps us keep our appetites under control. Going to bed at 9:00 every night if possible would be optimal, but at least by 10:00 every night. As research continues, I expect that sleep will emerge as an increasingly significant factor for all areas of our health.

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