The importance of sleep
Sleep - or the lack of it - has a direct connection to
the health of young people.
According to a recent study, the pattern of "early to
bed and early to rise" seems to help keep kids leaner
and more physically active than their night-owl peers,
even with the same total amount of sleep.
Body weight and the use of free time over a four-day
period were compared in 2,200 nine- to 16-year-olds.
Those who went to bed late and got up late were 1.5
times more likely to be obese than those who went to
bed early and got up early.
Further, late-nighters were almost twice as likely to
be physically inactive and 2.9 times more likely to sit
in front of the television and computer or play video
games for more than two hours, which exceeds the
Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for School-
Aged Children and Youth of no more than two hours
of screen time per day.
Therefore, it appears that children should be aiming
for 10 to 11 hours of sleep daily, preferably between
the hours of 10 p.m. and 8 a.m., to lower their risk of
obesity and excessive screen time.
How much sleep do you really need?
|Newborns (0 to 2 months)
|| 12 to18 hours
|Infants (3 to 11 months)
||14 to 15 hours
|Toddlers (1 to 3 years)
||12 to 14 hours
|Preschoolers (3 to 5 years)
||11 to 13 hours
|School-age children (5 to 10 years)
||10 to 11 hours
|Teens (10 to17 years)
||8½ to 9¼ hours
||7 to 9 hours
Sources: Active Healthy Kids Canada and the National Sleep Foundation
Back to "Are today's youth active enough?"
Wave is published six times a year by the Winnipeg Health Region in cooperation with the Winnipeg Free Press. It is available at newsstands, hospitals and clinics throughout Winnipeg, as well as McNally Robinson Books.
Read the September / October 2012 issue of Wave