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Well-rested babies are less likely to become obese, study says

Sleep education can help

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A well-rested baby is a happy baby, and good sleep also promotes growth, heart health, boosted learning, and a longer attention span. 

New research is showing sleep education for parents is more important than ever. 

Researchers are linking babies' sleep to obesity risks. 

A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when parents got hands-on education about sleep, their newborns had half the risk of developing obesity by ages three and five.

In another similar study, babies whose parents were educated on other topics such as nutrition, but not sleep, had more rapid weight gain. 

Educating parents on sleep cut those risks in half. 

"Sleep is when they get to digest everything that they've learned throughout the day," said Katie Kovaleski, pediatric sleep consultant. "It's when they grow and develop cognitively."

Researchers say that while it's unclear how better sleep leads to lower obesity rates, it may be because less disruptive sleep affects metabolism.