Sleep ''important for children''s performance''
Young children require a minimum of ten hours sleep per night in order to perform well at school and in their studies, it has been revealed.
Research carried out in China by Shanghai Children
's Medical Centre showed children who consistently suffer from a lack of sleep may be unable to perform at their optimum level.
A study involving students from ten primary schools in the Shanghai region split the kids
into groups, those who were allowed to get the recommended number of hours of sleep per evening and those who were not.
Of the two groups, children who had adequate sleep were found to perform better in tests.
"The group that slept less scored lower in all the eight test categories from memory, logic [and] reasoning to attention. The result surprised us as we never realised that the amount of sleep can make such a big difference in children," lead researcher Jiang Fan commented.
"Many children don't have enough sleep due to [a] heavy academic burden, bad sleeping habits and parents' low awareness."
At present, around 20 to 30 per cent per cent of young people are not getting the required daily amount of rest and this is therefore a serious issue.
Poor sleeping habits can result in a greater likelihood of the development of a number of serious health conditions for young people in later life, including hypertension, obesity and diabetes, Ms Jiang added.
A recent study carried out by Erasmus MC University Medical Center in Rotterdam and the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey revealed a lack of sleep has the same impact on the body's immune system as high levels of stress.
Lead author of the report Katrin Ackermann noted a build-up of white blood cells in individuals who are sleep deprived - a situation which could lead to numerous health problems for long-term sleep sufferers.
Posted by Michael Ewing