Study Suggests a Connection Between a Child’s Weight, Sleep Problems, and Learning Ability
Children who are overweight and don’t get enough sleep may have a harder time learning, and those with learning difficulties may be at higher risk for obesity and sleep problems, new research suggests.
The study found that a child’s weight, sleep problems, and ability to learn are all connected, with each influencing the other. Although one expert says the study raises some interesting questions about the relationship of obesity, sleep, and intelligence, it’s far too soon to even suggest that intelligence levels alone play a role in obesity or sleep problems.
It is widely recognized that obesity increases the risk for sleep apnea and related conditions, known collectively as sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). Chronic lack of sleep has also been shown to have a negative impact on learning. But the new study is among the first to examine the interaction of obesity, lack of sleep, and intelligence in elementary school children.
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