Sugar OK for kids before bed. No, really.

A new study finds that kids can consume high amounts of sugar without their sleep being affected.

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Sugar before bed has long been blamed for disrupted sleep, decreased attention, memory problems, bad school performance, hyperactivity, aggression, and mood problems in growing children.

But a new University of South Australia study led by sleep expert Dr Emily Watson found children slept an average of nine and 11 hours each night and their sugar intake had no baring on behavioural problems.

The study did find that kids are consuming above average amounts of sugar which comes with its own range of concerns. 

Results were based on 287 South Australian schoolchildren aged from 8 years old to 12, who completed a food eating questionnaire with the help of their parents.

“While a high proportion of children consumed above the recommended amount of daily total sugar, which is problematic for other health reasons, total sugar consumption was not related to behavioural or sleep problems,’’ said Dr Watson.

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“This study demonstrated for the first time that diets containing a high proportion of total sugar do not exacerbate the relationship between parental reported sleep and behaviour.’’

The World Health Organisation recommends children consume only 20 per cent of their energy through sugar. But this study found that the average was 134grams a day which equals 26 per cent. Time to quit the fizzy drinks and sugary snacks.

A diet high in sugar poses significant health risks regardless of age, but as it turns out red cordial before bed doesn't affect shuteye. Not that that makes it a good idea!