REM sleep associated with overweight in children and adolescents

June 12, 2008,

Short sleep time is associated with overweight in children and adolescents, a core aspect of which may be attributed to reduced REM sleep, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Thursday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

The study, authored by Xianchen Liu, MD, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh, focused on 335 participants between seven and 17 years of age, who underwent three consecutive nights of standard polysomnography, or an overnight sleep test, and weight and height assessment as part of study on the development of childhood internalizing disorders (depression and anxiety).

According to the results, compared with normal-weight children, overweight children slept about 22 minutes less, had lower sleep efficiency, shorter REM sleep periods, lower REM activity and density, and longer latency to the first REM period.

After adjustment for demographics, pubertal status, ethnicity, and psychiatric diagnosis, one hour less of total sleep increased the odds of overweight by about two-fold, one hour less of REM sleep increased the odds by about three-fold, REM density and activity below the median increased the odds by two- and three-fold, respectively.

“Given the fact that the prevalence of overweight among children and adolescents continues to increase, and chronic sleep insufficiency becomes more and more prevalent in the modern society, family and school-based sleep interventions which aim to enhance sleep hygiene and increase sleep duration may have important public health implications for the prevention and intervention of obesity and type-two diabetes in children and adolescents,” said Dr. Liu.

Studies have linked sleep deprivation among children and adolescents to increased incidence of obesity and cardiovascular disease, and can also result in behavioral problems, lead to poor academic performance and affect relationships with their peers.

It is recommended that adolescents get nine hours of nightly sleep and school-aged children between 10-11 hours.

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Explore further: REM sleep critical for young brain development; medication interferes

Related Stories

REM sleep critical for young brain development; medication interferes

July 3, 2015
Rapid eye movement or REM sleep actively converts waking experiences into lasting memories and abilities in young brains reports a new study from Washington State University Spokane.

Poor REM sleep may be linked to higher risk for anxiety, depression

February 9, 2016
(HealthDay)—REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is the phase when dreams are made, and a lack of good REM sleep has long been associated with chronic insomnia.

Researchers delve into what happens during sleep

July 27, 2015
In the classic fairy tale, Snow White bites into an apple and slips into a state of suspended animation. For her fellow figment of fiction, man-about-the-Catskills character Rip Van Winkle, a sip of moonshine affords the ...

Frequent childhood nightmares may indicate an increased risk of psychotic traits

February 28, 2014
Children who suffer from frequent nightmares or bouts of night terrors may be at an increased risk of psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to new research from the University of Warwick.

Sleep disturbance in epilepsy: Causes and consequences

December 7, 2015
Researchers are only beginning to understand the implications of disrupted sleep in people with epilepsy. Recent findings suggest that seizure-interrupted sleep could impede memory formation, impair cognitive performance ...

Teen sleep study adds to evidence of a 'neural fingerprint'

April 26, 2011
Teens are rarely described as stable, so when something about their rapidly changing brains remains placidly unaltered, neuroscientists take notice. Such is the case in a new study of electroencephalography (EEG) readings ...

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Jun 13, 2008
Sleep deprivation is not the cause but another symptom (like obesity, diabetes) of metabolic difficulties which are no doubt related to the chemicals being ingested, excess carbohydrates being a major one.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.