Young children require a minimum of ten hours sleep per night
in order to perform well at school and in their studies, it has
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
"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