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Myth 6: Sleep Has Nothing to do with My Weight

Pediatric Fitness

Myth 6: Sleep Has Nothing to do with My Weight

Try to get at least eight hours of sleep every night.There are many misconceptions about proper nutrition and exercise. Nutritionists from the Pediatric Fitness Clinic explore different myths and misconceptions, the truth behind them, and offer suggestions for what you can do instead.

Myth: Sleep has nothing to do with my weight.

Truth: Sleep plays a big role in your body’s ability to gauge hunger and thirst. When your body is tired, you make more “feed me” hormones and less “I’m full” hormones. This leads to “the munchies” to help stay awake.

Sleep plays a big role in your body's weight. When your body is tired, you make more "feed me" hormones and less "I'm full" hormones. This leads to "the munchies" to help stay awake.

Television and Sleep

Children who have a TV in their room tend to move less and have more issues with poor sleep. When the bed is used for things other than sleep, like watching TV or playing video games, the body does not have the bed as a cue for "this is where I go to fall asleep." Bright lights prior to bedtime can interfere with the body's natural rhythms and disturb sleep patterns.

Try This Instead

Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep every night.

Parental Advice

Children thrive on routine. Make a bedtime routine to help their body recognize that it is time for sleep. Decrease the distractions in their bedroom. Cell phones, tablets, computers and televisions are all temptations to stay awake. Keep the bedroom dark. If it never gets dark, the natural sleepiness doesn't arrive.

Lead by example. Take the TV out of your bedroom. According to Cami Matthews, MD, a children's sleep expert and UW Health physician, "A bedroom needs to be boring, the place you sleep and don't do anything else. The ideal bedroom is cool, quiet and dark."

Find more sleep resources at Wisconsin Sleep.