Getting children to sleep more could help curb obesity, a new study says.
The study followed 37 U.S. children between the ages of eight and 11, 27% of whom were overweight or obese.
In the first week, children were asked to sleep the way they normally do. During the second week, some of the children were either allowed to sleep longer, or were made to get up earlier.
Researchers said even after a week, the changes were noticeable. Children who increased their sleep ate 134 fewer calories per day and had lower fasting levels of leptin - a hunger-regulating hormone - compared to the children who decreased their sleep.
The study, which was conducted at the Miriam Hospital and Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Rhode Island, appears in Monday's edition of the journal Pediatrics.
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