An Australian study suggests that sending children early to bed may help them maintain their weight and remain slim.
Researchers from University of South Australia conducted the study on 2,200 children aged between 9 to 16 years and found that those who went to bed late were 1.5 times more likely to become obese and 2.5 times more likely to have an inactive lifestyle, spending more time in front of television.
Lead researcher Dr Carol Maher said that getting up early allowed the children to be more physically active since there were no distractions such as prime-time TV shows or social networking. The study has been published in the journal Sleep.
"Scientists have realised in recent years that children who get less sleep tend to do worse on a variety of health outcomes, including the risk of being overweight and obese. Our study suggests that the timing of sleep is even more important", Dr Maher said.