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Press Release | Stony Brook Medicine

STONY BROOK, NY, June 20, 2013 – Well-rested teenagers tend to make more healthful food choices than their sleep-deprived peers, according to a study led by Lauren Hale, PhD, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. The finding, presented at SLEEP 2013, the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, may be key to understanding the link between sleep and obesity.

“Not only do sleepy teens on average eat more food that’s bad for them, they also eat less food that is good for them,” said Dr. Hale, speaking about the study results. “While we already know that sleep duration is associated with a range of health consequences, this study speaks to some of the mechanisms, i.e., nutrition and decision making, through which health outcomes are affected.”

The study, which was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, examined the association between sleep duration and food choices in a national representative sample of 13,284 teenagers in the second wave of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The data were collected in 1996 when the interview subjects had a mean age of 16 years.

The authors found that those teens who reported sleeping fewer than seven hours per night — 18 percent of respondents — were more likely to consume fast food two or more times per week and less likely to eat healthful food such as fruits and vegetables. The results took into account factors such as age, gender, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, physical activity and family structure, and found that short sleep duration had an independent effect on both healthy and unhealthy food choices.

The respondents fell into one of three categories: short sleepers, who received fewer than seven hours per night; mid-range sleepers, who had seven to eight hours per night; and recommended sleepers, who received more than eight hours per night. The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends that adolescents get between nine and 10 hours of sleep per night.
 

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But is this causative, or a healthy upbringing with emphasis on getting enough sleep and eating well?

A man was bragging to me on the bus yesterday, his SIL (who has 3 kids including new baby) is working two jobs, 40 hr per week, he is a "good man." I seriously was concerned for the guy, but reserved comment as I do not know this FIL well ...
 

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Sleep deprivation increases insulin resistance which drives your cravings for carbs and easily digestable glucose.

We are keeping our 4yr old question monster, little boy genius. His parents decided not to let him nap in the afternoon because he is hard to put to sleep at night. Well this little guy needs sleep and calories, doesn't eat much either.

So I devised a plan of attack. Carnation Instant Breakfast (130 calories) in a glass of store bought chocolate milk (230 calories), yea I am sneaky that way. He is now drinking about 2-3 cups of this a day (around 1000 calories a day) plus what ever else Mr Picky can get in his stomach. He has glucose lows and is skinny as bean pole. So we got the food intake under control.

For the sleep deprivation, I took a black piece of material and completely closed in the windows in his room, its dark in there even with the sun shining hard on the window. We have been backing up bath time to 6:00 pm now. When he is done with his bath we do not let him come back down stairs, instead I put a video in the player and he lays in bed. At 7:00-7:30 pm I go up and turn it off, amazingly he has been already asleep when I go up there. The darken windows keep him asleep till 7:30 am. He really needs more sleep than 12 hrs but his disposition and mood has been getting a lot better with the new arrangements.
 

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Good luck, Marty! None of my kids would drink instant breakfast, ever.

I do let my 12 yr old sleep as much as she wants. I had her on melatonin, but she forgot for a couple weeks, is fine without it (thankfully!!!). I push more protein, minimize carbs, they are for snacks only and limited amounts, and always with some protein.

My youngest (jock-girl!) can eat 4 - 6 hot dogs in sitting! Shuns the buns, eats green veg reasonably well.
 

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The trick is to not tell them they are drinking instant breakfast. I mix it when he goes to bed for the next morning. Then again when he is out of the room, if he knew he wouldn't drink it. Instant Breakfast isn't the best choice, but it does carry with it a lot of calories, vitamins, protein. We are also keeping his little sister, 14 months old, she is into hotdogs and green beans. She's into protein right now. I go back to what I mentioned earlier that a 1-2 yr old knows what its body needs at the moment.
 

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I still have my doubts --- my 12 yr old would never eat anything but CARBS if I did not push it on her. And she has gagged on every drink I have ever offered her. She even (GASP!!!) hates ice cream.
 

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I still have my doubts --- my 12 yr old would never eat anything but CARBS if I did not push it on her. And she has gagged on every drink I have ever offered her. She even (GASP!!!) hates ice cream.
I got a 6 yr old grandchild she would get along with wonderfully.

We took him into the Frozen Yogurt shop with a vast array of flavors and toppings to choose from. He proceeded to walk up to every one of them and looked at us, lets go, don't like any of those flavors. So we left. Odd little boy not liking ice cream or peanut butter. I relate is pickiness back to when he was a baby. He lacked the ability most babies have to suck a bottle and breath at the same time. So he couldn't eat right since birth.
 
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