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Sleeping Tips to Help Kids' Weight

Does your child get enough sleep? If not, it could affect more than sleepiness at school. Studies suggest there may be a link between skimping on sleep and being overweight. Sleep shortfalls may increase hunger hormones -- so kids eat more. Also, kids are less likely to get exercise (and burn off calories) when they're tired.

To help kids and teens get a good night's sleep:
  • Remove TVs, computers, and gadgets from kids' bedrooms.
  • Avoid large meals before bedtime.
  • Develop a regular bedtime routine.
  • Set firm bedtimes and wake times.
  • Make sure the bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing -- and not too hot or cold.
  • Help kids quiet down a few hours before bedtime.
  • Heavy studying, text messaging, or video games should end in early evening.

How much sleep do schoolkids need? It depends on the child. But here are some general guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation:

  • Ages 3-5: 11-13 hours
  • Ages 5-12: 10-11 hours
  • Ages 11-17: 9.5-9.25 hours



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