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Poor diet, obesity and too long screening time affect children's sleep, studies show Life


New research has revealed some lifestyle-related factors that can affect the sleep of children and adolescents. - AFP pic
New research has revealed some lifestyle-related factors that can affect the sleep of children and adolescents. – AFP pic

NEW YORK, November 14 – New research has shown that children and teenagers can spend time sleeping due to the combination of unhealthy food, insufficient exercise and too long watching time.

Researchers from the Harokopio University in Greece and the University of Rutgers in the United States have new large-scale research covering 177,091 children aged 8 to 17 in Greece and assessing eating habits, sleep hours, physical activity and sitting activities.

The team also measured the level of physical fitness of children and noted their height, weight and waist circumference and body mass index (BMI).

The results, published in Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, showed that about 40% of school-age children did not get enough sleep, and insufficient sleep is more common among men than women, 42.3% compared to 37.3%.

More children than teenagers reported insufficient sleep (42.1% compared to 32.8%) with insufficient sleep for children referred to as sleeping less than nine hours a day and for adolescents sleeping less than eight hours a day.

Regarding the causes of insufficient sleep, the team found that both men and women and all age groups have unhealthy eating habits, including unhealthy eating habits such as skipping breakfast, eating junk food and eating sweets regularly, too much time on the screen and overweight or obesity was associated with lack of sleep.

Adolescents with insufficient sleep time also had lower aerobic capacity and physical activity.

"The most surprising finding was that aerobic fitness was associated with sleep habits," said senior author Labros Sidossis, PhD.

"In other words, better sleep habits have been associated with a better level of aerobic capacity, and we can speculate that a good sleep causes a higher energy level during the day.

Therefore, children who sleep well can be more physically active during the day, and therefore have higher aerobic capacity. "

"Insufficient sleep time in children is an underestimated health problem in Western societies," said Sidossis. "Considering the epidemiological results, parents, teachers and health professionals should promote strategies that emphasize healthy sleep patterns for school-age children in terms of quality and duration."

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that children between the ages of 6 and 12 sleep between 9 and 12 hours regularly to promote optimal health, while adolescents aged 13 to 18 years should sleep between eight and ten hours. – AFP-Relaxnews

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