Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early to bed and early to rise: Study suggests it's keeping kids leaner

Date:
September 30, 2011
Source:
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Summary:
Researchers recording the bedtimes and wake times of 2,200 Australian youths found that the night owls were 1.5 times more likely to become obese than the early birds, twice as likely to be physically inactive and 2.9 times more likely to sit in front of the TV and computer or play video games for more hours than guidelines recommend.

Ben Franklin was right, at least on the healthy part. "Early to bed and early to rise" appears to have helped a cross-section of early-bird Australian youths keep slimmer and more physically active than their night-owl peers, even though both groups got the same amount of sleep.

Related Articles


A study in the Oct. 1 issue of the journal Sleep recorded the bedtimes and wake times of 2,200 Australian participants, ages 9 to 16, and compared their weights and uses of free time over four days. Children who went to bed late and got up late were 1.5 times more likely to become obese than those who went to bed early and got up early. Furthermore, late-nighters were almost twice as likely to be physically inactive and 2.9 times more likely to sit in front of the TV and computer or play video games for more hours than guidelines recommend.

"The children who went to bed late and woke up late, and the children who went to bed early and woke up early got virtually the same amount of sleep in total," said co-author Carol Maher, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow with the University of South Australia. "Scientists have realized in recent years that children who get less sleep tend to do worse on a variety of health outcomes, including the risk of being overweight and obese. Our study suggests that the timing of sleep is even more important."

Maher said mornings are more conducive to physical activity for young people than nights, which offer prime-time TV programming and social networking opportunities. This relationship between time of day and available activities might explain why more sedentary and screen-based behaviors were observed with later bedtimes, she said. At a time when research is showing that teenagers have a natural tendency to stay up late and wake late, the results of this study could stand as a warning.

"It is widely accepted that the sleep patterns of adolescents are fundamentally different from children and adults, and that it is normal for adolescents to stay up very late and sleep in late in the morning," Maher said. "Our findings show that this sleeping pattern is associated with unfavorable activity patterns and health outcomes, and that the adolescents who don't follow this sleep pattern do better."

Other findings from the University of South Australia study:

  • Early-bed/early-risers went to bed 70 to 90 minutes earlier, woke up 60 to 80 minutes earlier and accumulated 27 minutes more moderate to vigorous physical activity each day than late-risers.
  • Late-bed/late-risers watched TV, played video games or were online 48 minutes longer each day than early-bed/early risers, primarily between 7 p.m. and midnight.
  • Only 12 percent of late-bed/late-risers had an average of two hours or less screen time per day, which is recommended for children and teens by the Australian Department of Health and Aging. In comparison, 28 percent of early-bed/early risers met the recommendation for screen time.
  • On a broad scale, late-bed/late-risers replaced about 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity with 30 minutes of sedentary behavior each day, relative to the early-bed/early-rise group.
  • Body-mass index (BMI) scores were higher in late-risers than early-risers, and late-risers were more likely to be overweight or obese.
  • Late-bed/late-risers tended to have few siblings, live in major cities, come from lower household incomes and have a part-time job.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council contributed financially to this study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tim S Olds, Carol A Maher, Lisa Matricciani. Sleep duration or bedtime? Exploring the relationship between sleep habits and weight status and activity patterns. Sleep, 2011; (accepted)

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Early to bed and early to rise: Study suggests it's keeping kids leaner." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110930052216.htm>.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (2011, September 30). Early to bed and early to rise: Study suggests it's keeping kids leaner. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110930052216.htm
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Early to bed and early to rise: Study suggests it's keeping kids leaner." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110930052216.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins