Researchers at the University of Florida will conduct a pediatric study to examine the efficacy of a non-medication sleep treatment program for overweight children, as reported by News4Jax.

The UF Pediatric Sleep Study is designed to help children who are overweight and having sleep problems improve their sleep through behavioral strategies rather than medication, medical devices or surgical procedures.

Parents and children will participate in individual treatment sessions with a trained sleep therapist to learn how to manage real-life problems and make healthy changes in the child’s sleep patterns. There is no cost to families to participate.

The study is led by David Janicke, Ph.D., a professor in the department of clinical and health psychology at the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions, and Christina McCrae, Ph.D., a professor and chairwoman of the department of health psychology at the University of Missouri.

“Most parents are probably aware that diet and activity are important for maintaining healthy weight,” Janicke said. “They may also recognize that their child is not getting enough sleep, resists going to bed or is extremely hard to awaken for school. What they may not realize is that poor sleep in childhood may contribute to excess weight and make it harder for children to eat right and be active. Improving sleep in these children may have added benefits in terms of weight loss and an overall healthier lifestyle.”

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