Based on a recent study done over 3 decades, young children who do not get enough sleep are at increased risk of becoming overweight (BMJ, May 26).
Children and babies need 8 hours per day in sleep. Decreasing the sleep time by as little as one hour creates a Sleep Deficit that accumulates and eventually leads to changes in nocturnal hormones (endocrine disturbances).
Obesity in children has now reached epidemic proportions and is a cause of psychosocial problems, including low self esteem. Many of these children have diagnosed sleep apnea that means wearing a CPAP. The social stigma among children who have to wear a CPAP to an overnight party or to college is devastating.
Suggested solutions are public education and life style changes.
Dr. Don H Lowrance
Corpus Christi, Texas