A recent study published in Pediatrics suggests that kids who sleep short durations are more likely to become overweight. The researchers analyzed data on 785 children from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study. Of the third and sixth graders studied, those who slept for shorter lengths of time were more likely to be obese.

There is a known connection between shortened sleep duration and weight problems in adults, so the purpose of the study was to determine if a similar link exists between kids’ sleep patterns and obesity, say researchers. “The relationship between sleep and weight has become a topic of great interest as U.S. obesity rates reach record levels and chronic sleep deprivation affects a growing percentage of American youth and adults,” the study says. “One preventive approach to overweight may be to ensure adequate sleep in childhood.”