Active Children and Sleep

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

If your children are having a hard time getting to sleep, make sure they get plenty of activity during the day. In todays 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill tells us about a study that found active children who play hard in the daytime fall asleep easier.

Scientific data now confirms what parents have suspected all alongactive kids fall asleep faster.

The research is important because bad sleep patterns in children have been associated with poorer school performance and an increased risk of being obese or overweight.

The study looked at the sleep habits of 590 children. Participants sleep problems and behavior patterns were assessed through questionnaires. Also, participants wore activity monitors around their waists for 24 hours to measure sleep and physical activity level.

Median sleep latencyor how long it took a child to fall asleepwas 26 minutes. The higher the childs activity rate, the shorter the time tended to be.

For every daytime hour the child was sedentary, he or she spent an additional three minutes trying to fall asleep.

These findings emphasize the importance of physical activity for children, not only for fitness, cardiovascular health and weight control, but also for promoting good sleep.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.