Yakima has been singled out in the past for having more than our fair share of "substantial citizens."  You know what I mean. Overweight kids are a concern too and science is suggesting that maybe it's the pillow that leads to a problem with the spoon!
‘To sleep, perchance to dream,’ is one of the many often quoted lines in Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet.  In the quote, Hamlet is contemplating the relief he might feel if he were to die and this avoid all the hassles of life, but then he freaks out about what dead people might dream about!  That was written more than 400 years ago!  Today, it's the lack of sleep that is killing us and our kids.

It's Not How Much, But What Kids Eat

It's the sweetest of assassins at work  - SUGAR!

Sleep is important for all of us but particularly for teens. My daughter Kate "the Gator" Ettl is thirteen and if left to her own devices, she would stay up all night -on her devices!  Not good Gator!

Brigham Young University researchers found that lack of sleep in teens is linked to many issues, including increased risk of weight gain and other cardiometabolic diseases because teens (who don't always eat the best) have even worse dietary habits when they sleep less.

Too Little Sleep Is A Big Problem

Data from the American Academy of Pediatrics found that 73% of high school students are getting less than the recommended eight to ten hours of sleep each night.

Researchers say teens who slept six-and-a-half hours each night (short sleep) consumed more foods that were likely to spike blood sugar fast (like foods high in carbs and added sugar, or sugary drinks), compared to teens who slept nine-and-a-half hours each night (healthy sleep.) I

It turns out getting less sleep didn’t cause teens to eat more than their healthy sleeping peers, with both groups eating about the same amounts of calories but the light sleepers ate a lot more "Junk food."

How Sweet It ...Isn't

The research found "that teens in short sleep consumed 12 extra grams of sugar each day. With most teenagers not getting sufficient sleep during the 180 nights of a school year, an extra 12 grams of added sugar each day could result in over 4.5 pounds of extra sugar each year."

Over time all that sugar adds pounds and health risks.  Check out details in an article called:  10 Ways Eating Sugar Poses Danger to Your Health

The scientists conclude that “Sleep health should be incorporated into all prevention and intervention modules for child obesity.”

KEEP READING: 15 Natural Ways to Improve Your Sleep