05 Nov Good Night’s Sleep Associated with Decreased Calorie Intake in Children
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?
Dr. Hart: Following one week of sleeping their typical amount, children 8-11 years old were asked to decrease and increase their time in bed by 1.5 hours/night for one week each in random order. Compared to when children decreased their sleep, when they increased their sleep, they reported consuming 134 kcal/day fewer, had lower fasting levels of leptin, a hunger-regulating hormone that is also highly correlated with the amount of adipose tissue, and weighed approximately 0.5 lbs less. Reported decreases in food intake were most pronounced later in the day.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Hart: A good night’s sleep has been associated with a number of benefits for children across domains of functioning, including improvements in memory, learning, and mood as well as decreased behavioral difficulties. The present study adds another potential benefit of a good night’s sleep-it could assist with weight regulation through positive effects that it has on food intake.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Hart: This study was small and brief. It will be important to replicate this study in a larger sample and over longer periods of time to see if findings persist. It will also be important to determine whether behavioral interventions designed to enhance children’s sleep duration can do so effectively and produce similar outcomes.