Background: GH secretion is affected by duration and quality of sleep. Studies examining the connection between sleep and linear growth have reported conflicting results. Recently, we reported that nutritional supplementation was effective in promoting growth in children. In the present study, we extended our evaluation of the nutritional supplement to assess the association between nutrition, sleep and growth.
Objective and hypotheses: To examine whether nutritional supplementation affects sleep patterns and growth.
Method: Study design: Prospective randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study of nutritional supplementation at the Endocrinology Department of a tertiary Pediatric Medical Center of healthy, lean, short, pre-pubertal children. Outcome measures: Anthropometric measurements (Height-SDS, Weight-SDS and BMI-SDS), sleep pattern (sleep-schedule time questionnaire (SSTQ)) and nutritional intake (3-day food diaries), were assessed at entry and after 6 months intervention.
Results: 164 healthy short and lean pre-pubertal children (127 boys, mean age 5.6±1.5 years) 83 from the formula group and 81 from the placebo group were recruited to the sleep assessment study. Baseline characteristics were similar in the formula and placebo groups. In the formula group good consumers (intake of ≧50% of the recommended dose) had a shorter sleep latency (P=0.046) compared with poor consumers (intake of <50%). Children with fast time to sleep (<15 min) improved significantly weight-SDS (0.25±0.34 vs 0.07±0.36, P=0.044), and tended to improve height-SDS (0.09±0.13 vs 0.03±0.13, P=0.057) as compared to slow time to sleep. In the placebo group, differences in sleep latency and growth measurements were not found. Positive correlations were found between mean sleep duration and caloric intake/kg, protein/kg, carbohydrate/kg and fat/kg both, at baseline and after 6 months of intervention.
Conclusion: Our data suggests that in short and lean pre-pubertal children nutritional supplementation is associated with improved sleep patterns. Yet to be elucidated are the mechanisms linking between nutritional intake, sleep patterns, and linear growth.
Conflict of interest: M.YG., L.L., R.S., and M.P. together with Schneider Childrens Medical Center of Israel, created NG Solutions a company aimed at distributing the study formula.
01 - 03 Oct 2015
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology