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Children should be taught about sleep

23rd October 2009

Experts are calling for schoolchildren to be taught about sleep as part of the national curriculum.


A group of sleep specialists and doctors believe that teaching young people about the value of a good night’s sleep should be as important as learning about healthy eating and exercise at school.

They maintain that sleep is a basic human requirement and is important in remaining physically, mentally and emotionally healthy and that lack of sleep in childhood can lead to health problems in later life.

The government has indicated that it would consider the proposals and could include sleep lessons as part of study of personal and social health.

The Sleep Council recently questioned 2,000 adults about sleep and 60% said that sleep education should be part of the curriculum.

However, the survey found that almost half of parents with children under 5 did not know that a three-year-old needed 12 hours' sleep and a third of parents were unaware that 6-12-year-olds needed 10 hours.

Chris Idzikowski of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre said the education system needed to take the proposals seriously.

“We teach children about nutrition and ensure regular exercise is part of their weekly activities, but the third critical ingredient of a healthy lifestyle - sleep - is barely touched upon,” he said.

The Sleep Council has launched a petition on the 10 Downing Street website asking parents to support calls for the subject to be taught in schools as well as publishing a new guide for parents called the Goodnight Guide for Children.


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Article Information

Title: Children should be taught about sleep
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 12999
Date Added: 23rd Oct 2009


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