Later Bedtimes Linked to More Weight Gain
The quality of our sleep has been found to affect our body in numerous ways--from helping or hurting our immune system to affecting our cardiovascular health. Now, a new study, published in the journal Sleep, suggests that the later we go to bed, the higher our risk of gaining weight.
To conduct their study, researchers from the University of California-Berkeley and Columbia University analyzed data of 3,342 youths and young adults who were part of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health from 1994-2009. Each participant reported their weekday and weekend bedtimes at three time points: during the onset of puberty, college-age years and young adulthood. Their researchers calculated the body mass index (BMI) of participants at each time.
The results showed that that the later an individual's bedtime between adolescence and young adulthood, the more weight they were likely to gain over a five-year period; and for every hour later a participant went to bed, the researchers found an increase in BMI of 2.1 kg/m2. These results held even after accounting for participants’ total sleep duration, screen time and physical activity levels.
The researchers said that their research supports the idea that adolescents should go to bed earlier to set their sleep habits and weight on the right track before reaching adulthood.