I usually get about 5-6 hours of sleep a  night, which isn't much, but I feel pretty well-rested during the day (though waking up early is a different story...)

However, a new study shows that catching up on Z's could affect your waistline, in a good way. The study also recently applies to children, given the fact that childhood obesity has become such a growing problem in the past couple of years.

CNN Health reports:

In the study, researchers monitored the sleep patterns of 308 children between the ages of 4 and 10 and and recorded their Body Mass Indexes or BMIs. They found that children who had regular sleep schedules and slept the recommended number of hours per night had the least risk of being obese or having unhealthy blood markers. In contrast, children who slept the least and had irregular sleep schedules had more than a fourfold increase in the risk of being obese and having unhealthy blood markers that indicate the beginning of other conditions.

But investigators also found that sleep-deprived kids who catch up during the weekend reduce that risk from four times to slightly less than three times the obesity risk of kids who get adequate sleep

"Lack of sufficient sleep can have major adverse consequences to the body, such as reduced memory and cognitive performance, lack of attention and focus and in children hyperactivity and ADHD like behaviors." says Dr. David Gozal, physician-in-chief, for the Department of Pediatrics at Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago. "In addition helplessness and depression can develop," he adds.

Reserach shows that lack of sleep can also lead to conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, even cancer.

via Catching up on Z's could curb kids' weight – The Chart - CNN.com Blogs.

How much sleep do you get a night? Do you think you'll try and get more sleep after reading this study?