From Medscape Education Diabetes & Endocrinology
In summary, a large and growing body of evidence suggests that short sleep duration in childhood is associated with both concurrent and future risk of overweight and obesity. Findings suggest that younger children and males may be at particular risk for the effects of short sleep duration on obesity status.
Studies also demonstrate that other variables, including sleep timing and variability, may influence this risk. Experimental studies have begun to provide evidence that short sleep duration may influence key behaviors -- namely eating and activity behaviors -- that can lead to weight gain over time.
However, experimental findings have largely focused on adults and have not always found the hypothesized effect of short sleep duration on eating and activity behaviors.
Thus, although sufficient sleep in childhood is essential for optimal functioning and well-being, additional work is needed before clinicians can prescribe changes in children's sleep to combat the pediatric obesity epidemic. It will be particularly important to determine whether changes in children's sleep are associated with changes in eating and activity behaviors and weight status over time.