Babies with more sleep, fewer awakenings less likely to be overweight

The more uninterrupted sleep infants get, and the fewer times they wake up, the lower their odds of being over overweight, according to a new study.

The study, published October 22, 2021 in the journal SLEEP, was led by Xiaoyu Li, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Li and colleagues examined the association of sleep/wake patterns with changes in growth in 298 full-term infants between ages 1 and 6 months. The researchers found that each one-hour increase in sleep duration was associated with a significant decrease in the odds of overweight. The odds of overweight also dropped for each one-unit decrease in the number of waking bouts.

The authors of the study noted that once present, obesity is hard to treat, so it is important that parents and caregivers begin prevention efforts as early as possible, according to an October 25, 2021 article in HealthDay.

Other Harvard Chan School co-authors of the study included Sebastien Haneuse and Elsie Tavares.

Read the HealthDay article: Overweight Less Likely in Infants With More Sleep, Fewer Awakenings