While previous research has found links between sleep and body mass index (BMI), the authors sought to determine whether sleep is associated with other cardiometabolic measures, reports AAP News.

In a cross-sectional study, 829 adolescents with a median age of 13 years wore monitors that measured their sleep and physical activity.

The children’s median sleep duration was 7.35 hours a night. Only 2.2% met the National Sleep Foundation recommendations for at least eight hours of sleep a night for teens ages 14-17 years and nine hours for 11- to 13-year-olds. After falling asleep, adolescents spent about 84% of the time asleep before getting up for good, known as their sleep efficiency.

Researchers found more sleep and better sleep were linked with less body fat. They also were tied to lower metabolic risk scores measured by smaller waist circumference, lower systolic blood pressure and higher high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, according to the study.