During her recent Q&A with Mammoth Dr Nicola Barclay, University of Oxford Sleep Scientist discusses how important sleep is in helping children stay fit and active.
“So, let’s now think about the importance of sleep in helping children stay fit and active and growing and developing naturally. Now certain sleep stages such as slow wave sleep, also called deep sleep, is particularly important for cell restoration and growth. Growth hormone is secreted during slow wave sleep, and a child that doesn’t get sufficient sleep is forgoing this important chemical that’s essential to growth. That’s both brain growth and bodily growth and cell repair. But lack of sleep also changes our metabolism.
Hunger hormones are increased when we’re tired, we don’t get enough sleep, satiety hormones that make us feel full are decreased. So this imbalance between our hunger hormones and our feeling full hormones means that we’re more likely to eat more when we’re tired. We also crave more carbohydrate and sugar rich foods when we’re tired in response to this altered regulation of the hunger and satiety hormones. And this is one of the reasons why too little sleep is related to obesity. But also feeling tired during the day makes it unlikely a child is going to have the energy to stay fit and active.”
The full Q&A session with Dr Nicola Barclay is available on our YouTube channel here.