The influence of short sleep duration on obesity among children and teenagers

Chen Karavani, Salomon Mushayev, Daniel  S. Moran
Faculty of Health Sciences, Health Management Department, Ariel University, Israel



Background: Proper sleep is essential for optimal daily function. Sleep duration and its quality determine children's health, behavior and temper to a large extent. Once sleep deprivation is prevalent, day and night time are confused and sleep is of inferior quality, with the vital process of hormone secretion being disturbed. Research findings of recent years show a connection between lack of sleep and child/youth obesity.


Objective: To review the scientific literature that studied the correlation, mechanisms, and influences between sleep deprivation and child and teenage obesity, in regard of recent cultural changes among them.


Methods: Search of academic articles in ProQuest, PubMed and Google Scholar database has been conducted focusing on 2004-2016 publications. The search used any language with the following keywords: Short Sleep Duration, Sleep Deprivation, Children Obesity, Teenager Obesity, Sleep and Diseases. Articles describing the association between lack of sleep and child/youth obesity were found eligible for this review.


Results: Twenty eight relevant articles were retrieved which described the connection between child/youth short sleep duration and its impact on their health focusing on obesity. Over time, sleep deprivation impairs proper child and youth development and may influence and cause chronic illness such as: Obesity, Diabetes, Respiratory arrest, Headaches, Migraines and Attention Deficit Disorder.


Conclusions: Recommendations for the essential duration and quality of sleep must be followed by children, teenagers and their parents for individual health and the prevention of obesity and other illnesses.


Keywords: Sleep Deprivation, Short Sleep Duration, Children Obesity, Teenager's Obesity, Sleep and Diseases.

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