Could obesity in kids be caused by poor sleep? They are finding that children who don't get a good night's sleep have an 'unhealthy' balance of gut bacteria later in life. Less diverse gut microbes have been linked to higher risks for obesity and chronic diseases. Beyond a poor diet we are also in an era of constant blue light from cell phone and tablet screens. That is messing with sleep patterns which is especially dangerous for kids. It harms the gut bacteria and throws it off balance.
So what should they be getting sleep-wise?
Tiny tots should shoot for 10 hours while adolescents need nine and a quarter hours of sleep a night, and the new study suggests that the earlier good bedtime habits start, the better children's overall health is the rest of their lives.
This means putting down the blue light screens at least two hours before the target bedtime.
(Margie's note: In my house, due to serious protest, we are going to start shooting for 30 minutes before target bedtime to see if that works. If my kids can swing that we fine but if they can't we will move the put down tech time ahead a half hour etc.)