Teens and Young Adults Risk Serious Weight Gain When On Late Bedtime Schedules

   By drodriguez  Oct 08, 2015

For many teens and young adults, going to bed late is a major part of their lifestyle. But now new research shows that those late nights can add up to an unhealthy weight gain for young people over time.

CBS News reports abot the new study published in the journal Sleep that shows a correlation between late bedtimes and weight gain in teens and young adlts. When people go to bed later than usual, even something as small as one hour later can mean a significant change to a person’s BMI. For every hour of sleep lost, the study reports that there is an associated 2.1 increase in BMI occurring over a five-year period.

What makes this study niqe to other studies about the effects on sleep and weight gain is that this one takes a look at long-term effects. Study author Lauren Asarnow explains how later bedtime sleeping habits can easily make a person slip from a healthy BMI weight to being in the overweight range. Asarnow says, “Conceivably, if you're going to bed an hour later, over time you could be shifting BMI categories from normal to overweight. So even a two-point increase could be clinically significant.”

Surprisingly, the study also suggests that the late bedtime weight gain occurs even if you are clocking enough hours at night, exercising regularly or cutting out screen time. Asarnow explains how parents can use this information to come up with a plan regarding, “adolescent bedtimes, not just total sleep time, as a potential target for weight management concurrently and in the transition to adulthood." She adds, “The good news is sleep is a highly modifiable. If you could shift bedtime in the teenage years, you can create good sleep habits and maybe prevent weight gain over time.”

What do you think about the new research suggesting late bedtime can lead to weight gain in teens and young adults?

Do you try to encourage good sleeping habits with your teen?

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