Adolescents having late bedtime habits are more likely to gain weight over time as compared to those who slept earlier, according to a new study.
Previous studies have shown that lack of sleep can affect health. Last month, a study claimed that not getting enough sleep could raise the risk of catching a cold. Another study discovered a significant association between inadequate sleep and early signs of heart disease.
The researchers from University of California – Berkeley conducted the first observational study to assess the link between bedtimes and body mass index (BMI) among teenagers. The scientists’ collected and analyzed data from more than 3,000 youngsters who were part of the survey from 1994-2009.
The participants reported their weekday and weekend bedtimes at three points: during the onset of puberty, college-age years and young adulthood. The investigators calculated the BMI of the study subjects at the above mentioned time points.
The experts found that the later an individual’s bedtime between adolescence and young adulthood, the more weight they were likely to gain over a 5-year period. They also pointed out that for every hour later a participant went to bed, an increase in BMI of 2.1 kg/m2.
The reason behind these findings is still to be determined but the scientists think it could be combination of both metabolic and behavioral patterns. The researchers suggested that teenagers should go to bed earlier in order to have their weight on a healthier course as they emerge into adulthood.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that teenager aged 14-17 should be getting around 8-10 hours of sleep each night, while young adults aged 18-25 should be getting around 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Recently a survey revealed that only 31 percent of high school students reported getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night, while almost 30 percent of adults reported sleeping fewer than 6 hours nightly. IMAGE/newsmax