Ok, I promise that I’ll stop with this at some point, but some research just came out on a link between sleep loss and obesity in kids. In the November 2007 issue of Journal of Pediatrics, a study showed that every additional hour per night a third-grader spends sleeping reduces the child’s chances of being obese in sixth grade by 40 percent. The sleep threshold number for 3rd graders was 9 hours and 45 minutes, such that children who slept more than this significantly reduced their risk for becoming obese in the 6th grade.
Sleep deprivation has a similar effect on adults. Researchers have found that sleep loss causes problems with the hormones that regulate appetite (ghrelin & leptin). It also can be that sleepy individuals are less likely to exercise and more likely to watch TV and eat while they do so.
There you have it – more reasons to get more sleep!