Late bedtimes could cause obesity in children

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Do you remember getting angry with your parents when they made you go to bed early, well may have actually been doing you a favor. New research shows a link between obesity and late bedtimes.

"At 8 o'clock is when we like them to begin bedtime then we like them to be lights out by 8:30," said Amanda Werner, Mother.

"It's a little later like 8:30 or 9 that we try to say lights out for everybody," said Julie Theis, Mother.

The Werner and Theis families pass the test, at least according to a new study by Swedish researchers that shows kids who go to sleep before 9 at night are less likely to become obese.

"If they don't get 10 or 11 hours of sleep then I see the difference in them," Theis said.

Experts say adequate sleep is important to provide kids the energy they need to live a healthy life.

"I would say probably both of our families lead pretty active lifestyles and healthy eating and things like that,"

"So if parents are in the habit of staying up late, having excessive screen time, not being active those same habits are being passed on to their children," said Dakota Felckowski, SwedishAmerican Pediatric Advanced Nurse Practitioner.

Felckowski says screen time can have a big impact on someone's ability to sleep.

"At least an hour or two hours before bedtime if we can stop that screen time that gives their brains some time to calm down," Felckowski said.

And offering healthy food choices can go a long way.

"It's obviously hard because we are so driven on our carbs in our society. So things like pretzels are good options or total chips and salsa and obviously, fruits and vegetables should be your go-to," Felckowski said.

Research finds that the time kids go to sleep varies across the world in places like Australia kids typically go to sleep around eight but for kids in China, the average is about ten.