New Research Supports ‘Early To Bed’ Adage


1"Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise," Benjamin Franklin famously said.

Researchers aren't sure whether an early bedtime will influence intelligence or income, but a new study suggests that it may make a significant difference for children in maintaining a healthy body weight.

A team of scientists at the University of South Australia conducted a study on 2,200 children aged 9 to 16, analyzing their bedtimes, wake times, physical activity levels and body weight. They discovered that while kids who went to bed late and slept in got the same amount of rest as their counterparts who hit the sack early, those who followed Franklin's advice tended to get more physical activity and weigh less.

"Our findings show that this [late] sleeping pattern is associated with unfavorable activity patterns and health outcomes, and that the adolescents who don't follow this sleep pattern do better," said study co-author Carol Maher, Ph.D.

On average, kids who were night owls tended to spend more time watching television and playing video games, while their counterparts had lifestyles more conducive to physical activity.