Sleep-more important than you think

sleepI often see children who are referred to me because they may be gaining more weight than normal (and now may be tracking far above their normal growth chart). One of the first questions I ask is about sleep. It is not uncommon for children these days to stay up until the wee hours usually playing video games, or watching movies on some electronic device that they often take to bed with them. Why is this a problem? Without adequate sleep, our body tends to produce more of a chemical called ghrelin, a messenger that tells the brain to eat more! Especially more fat and sugar. The same thing happens with adults. Have you ever stayed up way too late on a weekend and found yourself wanting home fries and bacon in the morning? and then still being hungry all day long? That is ghrelin taking over and that is the problem when we don’t get enough sleep. So take those electronic devices, TVs, cell phones away from your kids and get to bed yourself!

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