Monday, July 21, 2008

Short of Sleep at a Formative Age

This post is on the Sleepy Kids article posted in the July 20, 2008 edition of the Sunday Times.

The text of the article is unimportant. The data is interesting though:

Out of 200 primary school kids polled:

64% are getting fewer than 9 hours of sleep each night
24.5% are getting 9 hours
12.5% are getting 10 or more hours

(The recommended number of hours for a child between the ages of six to twelve is 10 to 11 hours, as told by the pediatrician interviewed for this article.)

Out of 940 secondary school students polled:

80% are getting fewer than 8 hours of sleep
2.6% are getting the recommended 9 hour

(The recommended number of hours is 9 hours for teens.)

So it appears that most kids and teens these days are chronically short of sleep, which isn’t a surprise given their hectic schedules and the hypercompetitive environment that they are growing up in today.

The ironic thing is, I don’t think most parents are aware that they are hurting their kids’ potential (and hence chances to ‘succeed’) with these killer schedules. It’s been shown that lasting brain damage can be a consequence of sleep apnea or sleep deprivation. It’s probably worse in kids, given that brain tissue in the growth and developmental phase is highly plastic.

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