Sleep deprivation is widely recognized as a potential contributor to overweight and obesity at all ages, but sleep inadequacy is particularly prevalent among the younger population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, the recommend hours of sleep per night are 10 to 13 hours for preschoolers aged 3–5 years, 9 to 12 hours for children aged 6–12 years, and 8 to 10 hours for teenagers aged 13–18 years. A growing body of research shows that insufficient sleep at a younger age may set the stage for insulin resistance, excess weight, irregular blood lipid levels and hypertension in adulthood.

Researchers from the Cardiovascular Health and Imaging Laboratory, Spanish National Centre for Cardiovascular Research in Madrid, investigated the association between sleep duration and health over a 7-day period in 1,229 adolescent boys and girls aged 12, 14 and 16 years. The findings revealed that the hours of sleep reduced with increasing age. Moreover, obesity was 21% and 72% more likely in very short sleepers (<7 hours of sleep) at ages 12 and 14, respectively, when compared with optimal sleepers (>8 hours of sleep). Short sleepers (7–8 hours of sleep) were 19% and 29% more likely to be overweight or living with obesity compared with optimal sleepers at 12 and 14 years, respectively. Overall, the impact of insufficient sleep on obesity in adolescents was in line with previous reports, further highlighting the importance of having a good night’s rest for optimal health and well-being.



Sign up for a free ASCEND account to continue reading.

ASCEND provides CME-accredited content designed to improve the care of people living with diabetes and obesity worldwide. Watch experts share their clinical insights, talk through case studies, address frequently asked questions, and much more!

Already a member? Login