A new study published in the journal Sleep has found that there is correlation between sleep and body mass index in teens and adults, who sleep late during the workweek. The study has found that teens who sleep late have a higher chance of gaining weight than their peers who sleep on time.
Over the course of 15 years, researchers analysed the data of more than 3,300 teens and young adults. A survey found that most teenagers do not get the recommended nine hours of sleep at night, and they have trouble staying awake at school. Researchers found that for every hour of sleep that is lost, they gained 2.1 points on the BMI index. they found that weight gain was spread over a five-year period.
“Obesity is obviously growing among adolescents and adults, and there’s also an epidemic lack of sleep and later bed preference in teens,” said study author Lauren Asarnow, a doctoral candidate at the University of California.
A healthy adult BMI range recommended by the National Institutes of Health is estimated to be between 18.5 and 24.9. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, and a BMI of 30 or greater amounts to obesity. The also showed that the relationship between bedtime and BMI was not changed by total sleep time. Sleeping did not make up for the impact of late bedtime. Asarnow mentioned that this was important as it highlights “adolescent” bedtimes, not just total sleep time, as a potential target for weight management concurrently and in the transition to adulthood.
During, the study teens reported their bedtimes and sleep hours while researchers calculated their BMI based on their height and weight. Thus, the study concluded that adolescents who go to bed earlier will set their weight on a healthier course as they emerge into adulthood.