Starting your day with Adequate sleep and breakfast.

Research indicates that there is a relationship between getting the recommended amount of sleep and maintaining a healthy weight.  Children need to have 10 to 11 hours of sleep each day while adults need 7 to 8. Sleep gives the body time to fight off sickness and infection.  If you or your children have a hard time getting to sleep try:

  • Exercising during the day.  Stop exercise three hours before you plan to go to sleep. 
  • Go to bed at the same time each night. 
  • Follow the same routine such as reading a book, or listening to quiet music
  • Keep the room cool, dark, and quiet

If you have a snack before bedtime, keep it light.  Avoid chocolate, colas or food items that contain caffeine. 

If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, why do so many people skip breakfast?  If sleep is more important than eating, pack a breakfast the night before.  It can be something you can eat in the car such as trail mix or granola with juice, drinkable yogurt or milk.  Kids will enjoy a peanut butter sandwich and piece of fruit while waiting for the bus. 

Try to have variety in you breakfast with three or more of the food groups such as:

  • Cereal, banana, and low-fat milk
  • Whole wheat toast, peanut butter and orange juice
  • Egg, English muffin, and slice of cheese

Kentucky schools offer breakfast but many students are still not taking advantage of the program.  Check into the breakfast program offered at your child’s school.  Even if your child is eating breakfast at home, it can be a long time until lunch.  Breakfast and a good night’s sleep will increase your child’s ability to pay attention, concentrate and solve problems. 

Eating breakfast and getting enough sleep not only promotes good health and improved performance in the classroom or workplace, but also are factors in controlling adults and children weight status. Research has shown that children and adults sleeping less than the recommended hours or not eating breakfast are more likely to be obese.