Researchers from the Université de Montréal found that 26% of sleepless children become overweight.

Jacques Montplaisir, professor in the Department of Psychology and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Sacré-Coeur Hospital, and colleagues analyzed 1,138 children for the study. The analysis found 26% of children between 2.5 years and 6 years who sleep fewer than 10 hours a night are overweight. This percentage drops to 15 for those who sleep 10 hours. Only 10% of the children who sleep 11 hours a night were overweight.

“When we sleep less, our stomach secretes more of the hormone that stimulates appetite,” says Montplaisir. “And we also produce less of the hormone whose function is to reduce the intake of food.”

According to the researchers, daytime naps do not compensate for a lack of nighttime sleep.