Bedtime, body mass index and obesity risk in preschool-aged children

Melyssa Roy, Jillian J. Haszard, Jennifer S. Savage, Kimberly Yolton, Dean W. Beebe, Yingying Xu, Barbara Galland, Ian M. Paul, Jodi A. Mindell, Seema Mihrshahi, Li Ming Wen, Barry Taylor, Rosalina Richards, Lisa Te Morenga, Rachael W. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Although sleep duration is a risk factor for obesity in young children, less is known about other aspects of sleep health, including bedtime, on obesity risk. Objective: To determine whether bedtime is associated with body mass index (BMI) z-score or obesity risk in children ages 2 to 5 years, and to determine if associations are independent of sleep duration. Methods: Cohort analyses were undertaken using three early life obesity prevention trials (POI, INSIGHT, Healthy Beginnings) and a longitudinal cohort study (HOME). Bedtime was assessed by questionnaire and BMI through clinical measurement between 2 and 5 years in 1642 children. Adjusted regression models examined whether BMI z-score and obesity (BMI z-score ≥ 2) were associated with bedtime, nocturnal sleep time and 24-hour sleep time. A discrete mixture model categorized children into bedtime trajectory groups across time points. Results: Bedtime was inconsistently associated with BMI z-score. Although each hour later of bedtime was associated with greater odds of obesity at ages 3 (OR; 95% CI: 1.05; 1.003, 1.10) and 5 (1.35; 1.08, 1.69) years, odds were attenuated after adjustment for nocturnal or 24-hour sleep time. Longer nocturnal sleep duration at 2 years was associated with lower odds of obesity (OR 0.90; 0.86, 0.94), as was longer 24-hour sleep duration at 3 years in girls (0.70; 0.62, 0.78). BMI z-score and odds of obesity were not significantly different between ‘early to bed’ and ‘late to bed’ trajectory groups. Conclusions: Timing of bedtime appears inconsistently related to obesity in young children, possibly via influencing overall sleep duration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12650
JournalPediatric Obesity
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Health Policy
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Bedtime, body mass index and obesity risk in preschool-aged children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this