Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Child Obes. 2012 Feb;8(1):38-42. doi: 10.1089/chi.2011.0105.

The underlying interactome of childhood obesity: the potential role of sleep.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics and Comer Children’s Hospital, Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago, 5721 S. Maryland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


Fine-tuning and integration between social rhythms and biological rhythms should be a priority for all, especially for children. As such, the opportunity to sleep should fit the evolving needs for sleep in a child. Unfortunately, children today are highly unlikely to obtain sufficient sleep or live under stable and regular schedules. Poor or dysregulated sleep affects the regulation of homeostatic and hormonal systems underlying somatic and intellectual growth, maturation, and bioenergetics. Therefore, in the prevention and management of childhood obesity, assessments of the “obesogenic” lifestyle, such as dietary and physical activity patterns, need to be coupled with accurate evaluation of the quality and quantity of sleep and with the potential co-existence of sleep-disordered breathing or other sleep disorders. Incorporation of sleep as an integral component of many childhood research studies on obesity should be done a priori rather than as an afterthought. Although parents and health professionals have meticulously delineated,observed, and quantified normal patterns of activities such as eating or playing, the absence of reliable sleep health data in children is all the more puzzling considering that young children engage in sleeping activities more than in any other activity during the 24-hour cycle. Therefore, the most forgotten, overlooked, or even actively ignored behavior of this century is undoubtedly childhood sleep. Trends aiming to reduce sleep in children have emerged, and regrettably continue to gain momentum. In parallel with such undesirable consequences, leading to the blatant disregard of sleep as a vital function rather than a commodity, a reciprocal increase in obesity rates has emerged. The mechanistic links between sleep and metabolism are now emerging, and should prompt incorporation of measures aiming to align sleep with any other antiobesity campaign. To paraphrase a well-known dictum “Somni sano in corpore sano” (healthy sleep in healthy bodies).

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk