Children who get up at night and sneak into bed with their parents may be healthier as they are less likely to become overweight, a new study has revealed.
Disturbed sleep is associated with obesity because it interferes with hunger hormones but research conducted in Denmark suggested the opposite may be true for children.
A study of 497 children between the ages of two and six found children who always stayed in their own beds were three times more likely to be overweight than children who got into bed with their parents every night, the Telegraph reported.
Dr Nanna Olsen, at the Research Unit for Dietary Studies, Institute of Preventive Medicine, at Copenhagen University Hospitals said it might be because these children have a greater sense of security by cuddling up to their parents.
The findings were presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Lyon, France.
"The results may suggest that elements of parental social support or other types of positive psychosocial responses if being allowed to enter parents’ bed during night may protect against overweight, whereas types of negative psychosocial responses such as feelings of rejection when not being allowed to enter parents’ bed may lead to overweight," Dr Olsen said.