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A new study published October, 2015 in the journal Sleep found that bedtime for teens is an important component in weight management.
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Researchers followed over 3,300 adolescents from 1994 to 2009 to determine the effect of bedtime on body mass index (BMI).

The conclusion was that between adolescence and adulthood, going to bed later during the workweek was associated with increased BMI over time. For every minute a teen went to bed late, there was an increase of 2.1 on the body mass index over a roughly five year period. The results were not affected by how many hours the participants slept each night, how much time they spent in front of a screen, or how much exercise they engaged in.

Similarly, a study concluded in 2004 showed that sleep deprivation alters appetite regulating hormones which can increase hunger and cravings, especially for high calorie refined carbohydrate foods.

An early bedtime is an often-neglected component of optimal health. While getting sufficient hours of sleep is important, we must realize that not all hours are created equal. Lauren Asarnow, doctoral candidate and lead author of the study says, “These results highlight adolescent bedtimes, not just total sleep time, as a potential target for weight management during the transition to adulthood.” She suggests that adolescents who go to bed earlier will “set their weight on a healthier course as they emerge into adulthood.”

Getting adequate sleep offers a wide-range of immediate and long-term health benefits. Sleep boosts the immune system, helps with the body’s self-repair system, lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s, and helps us keep our appetites under control.

The researcher recommends teenagers go to bed at 9:00 every night if possible, but at least by 10:00 every night.

Taken from a report by Linda Carney MD on her blog drcarney.com

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