A study has discovered a link between late bedtimes and obesity. Research conducted at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that children who go to bed later are at a higher risk of obesity.
The researchers analysed 107 children in Sweden. 64 of the children had an overweight or obese parent.
The team looked at the children’s height, weight and waist circumference between their first and sixth birthdays. Once a year, their sleep habits were recorded using a tracker on their wrists. The findings revealed that youngsters who went to bed after 9pm had a higher BMI than those who went to sleep at a reasonable time.
Dr. Claude Marcus commented on the study: “This late bedtime was one factor that really stood out. It was associated with increased weight. However, what we can see is [only] an association. If you put your kids to bed earlier, would it change anything? That's something we don't know."
He added: “My personal hypothesis is that this is more of a marker of a more irregular life," he said.
Children who have a later bedtime are more likely to have a poor lifestyle involving excess screen time and bad health habits.
It is important to note that this study featured a significantly small number of children so we’d take these results with a pinch of salt.
The study was published in the medical journal Pediatrics.