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Sleep During Childhood Combats Obesity

September 14th, 2010 | Posted by TheWaveMakers in Sleep

How Sleep During Childhood Combats Obesity

As a tribute to all children, we at LifeWaves® would like to comment on school and the lifestyles of those that attend these institutions. For most youngsters early September is most likely not a time for rejoicing.  Instead, the freedom of summer is ending and the long hours of winter and homework are all too fast becoming a returning reality. From our previous newsletters, you may have already gathered that the stress of work, from the corporate world right down to a child’s classroom, can have seriously adverse effects on one’s health. However, it is not just the maintenance of mental health that is at risk, but that of the total metabolic system, including the risk of obesity.

The New York Times has recently published a brief but informative article related to kids and school: “Risks: Asleep and Helping to Keep the Weight Off,” written by Roni Caryn Rabin.

This article outlines a newly published study printed in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Quite simply, the research explains that children under the age of five that do not sleep at least 10-hours each night are twice as likely to become obese later in life (Rabin). You may be thinking, “Well, at least my child is older than five, so he/she should be alright if they don’t always get enough sleep.” Well, please allow us to explain further.

Here’s Why Sleep During Childhood Combats Obesity and Leads to Healthier Adults

It is exceptionally important to understand that our physiologies and indeed all matter (which is really Waves) are absolutely open systems. For example, if one lives an unhealthy life for the first 30 years of their existence, this harmful behavior will ultimately have a negative effect on the latter years of that person’s life. Just as environmental pressures can negatively or positively impact health, so do the actions of the individual. Additionally, the patterns that we create younger in life greatly influence, and can often become, those that we repeat later. Because behavior is the result of patterning, it is precisely our behavioral patterns that dictate the health of our systems.

When we apply this knowledge to obesity, it is quite easy to understand how altering a pattern as fundamental as sleep, particularly at an early age, can create a progressive decline in health as one ages. Humans only have two ways by which we enact large-scale metabolic recovery: eating and sleeping. If you take away one form of recovery, then the body responds by engaging in the other on a more dramatic scale. This does not mean that children who sleep less necessarily eat more, but that the body responds by retaining what we eat in the form of our most important recovery tissue, namely lipids (fats). Alternately, those who do not eat enough are overcome with exhaustion and sleep for prolonged periods.

The point is this: the patterns that are created in youth are directly connected to the patterns that we create now. It is therefore unspeakably important to encourage your children to make the right choices for their health by encouraging them to eat correctly, make good Waves during the day and, of course, get the right amount of sleep. Helping your child to budget their time so that it includes studying, playing, eating and sleeping, all within the proper cyclic time frames, not only encourages health for today, but for the rest of their lives.

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