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Children not getting enough sleep

18th February 2010

A new survey has suggested that children in the UK are not getting enough sleep.


BBC’s Newsround sent out questionnaires to 1,083 children aged between nine and 11 at schools cross the country.

Findings showed that video games, mobile phones and TV are keeping children up at night.

The majority of children in that age-group said they went to bed at 9.30pm but 25%, or 277 children who responded to the survey, said bedtime was at 10pm or later.

As many as half the children quizzed admitted they were not getting sufficient sleep and would like more.

Many children also said they were staying up late to play computer games, use their mobile phones or watch television, with more than 50% having a TV in their own bedroom.

Scientists say lack of sleep in children leads to problems with concentration, can reflect on their schoolwork, energy levels and lead to bad behaviour.

Finnish academics say a good night's sleep could reduce hyperactivity and also lead to better behaviour among children.

Paul Gringrass, a paediatrician who runs the children's sleep clinic at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in London, said children are not simply "little adults".

"There’s a huge amount of brain development that's going on and we know that even moderate sleep loss impacts on their ability to concentrate and behave the following day", he said.

Lack of sleep affects children's growth and appetite too.

"Conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can manifest in children who simply haven't had enough sleep", he added.


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Article Information

Title: Children not getting enough sleep
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 14097
Date Added: 18th Feb 2010


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