While people know that teens have to go through insufficient sleep especially due to school, not many people are aware that sleep deprivation is one of the lifestyles leading to overweight problems. Nowadays, teachers and parents have become used to seeing kids drag themselves in a sleepy mood to school in the morning. With most schools requiring teens to be in class by 7.30 in the morning, there is no doubt that most children are deprived of their much needed sleeping time.

According to a recent study, obese and overweight issues were more prevalent among teens that didn’t have enough sleep. The study further continued to report that the already overweight teens tended to become obese even more every hour they were deprived of their sleep. The researchers concluded that obesity in teens can be reduced if a child sleeps for at least 10 hours per night.

Why more sleep is important to teens

Jonathan A. Mitchell and a team of researchers at University of Pennsylvania did a research on how the duration of sleep among kids was associated to their weights. The cohort study tracked 1, 390 participants during their ninth grade to twelfth grade. Data was collected on the teen’s sleeping habits on Saturday and weekdays after every 6 months. Information was also collected by the researchers regarding the physical activity of the teens and the teen’s Body Mass Index was calculated by taking the necessary measurements. BMI is simply the ration of an individual’s height to weight. This ratio is critical in determination of whether the person’s weight is healthy or not.

The overall BMI of the teens recorded an increase as the ages of the participants progressed from the initial 14 years towards 18. More change was recorded among teenagers whose BMI was in their 90th percentile.

The research findings

According to the research findings, it was observed that a higher BMI rate was recorded among teens that had less sleep. Nevertheless, among the teens with shorter sleep, their BMI increased sharply among teens that were already obese or overweight. The BMI recorded was high among more obsessed teens in relative to the amount of sleep they had. Also, as per calculations made by the research team, any extra hour of sleep that the teen received led to a proportional decrease in his or her BMI. However, the amount of decrease for teens in 90th percentile doubled that of teens in their 10th percentile.

In conclusion, the more an obese teen was, the more his or her weight benefited from some extra hours of sleep. Also, there was a prediction that if any teenager aged 18 years and currently sleeping 7.5 hours per night increased the sleeping hours to 10 every night, only less than 4 percent of the teens would have recorded a BMI of 25 and above which is usually the cutoff point for being obese.

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