New report in China reveals too many young people don’t get enough sleep.

Academic pressure is keeping many young people awake at night, research in China has discovered.

Over 62 per cent of Chinese children and adolescents aged between six and 17 sleep less than eight hours, the Chinese Sleep Research Society says in a recently released report. Just 16.7 per cent were found to have a high quality of sleep.

The findings, based on an extensive survey of sleep quality of Chinese youths, said academic pressure was the primary factor affecting sleep quality.

The report surveyed almost 70,000 children and their parents in 31 Chinese provinces, municipalities and regions.

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According to the report more than eight per cent of students are still busy with homework as late as 11pm from Monday to Thursday. This academic pressure is followed by the use of electronics – TVs, smartphones and computers – as reason why sleep is affected.

Extra-curricular courses – and irregular daily routines – also contributed to lack of sleep.

Children aged between six and 12 should sleep between nine and 10 hours a day, the report says, while adolescents aged between 13 and 17 should sleep for between eight and nine hours. However over 81 per cent of adolescents reported getting less than the standard amount, while 32 per cent of children also failed to get the required amount of sleep.

"Children who sleep more always perform better in their studies," says Gao Xuemei, deputy head of the society. "Those who lack sleep are prone to feeling down with bad tempers and can suffer from attention deficit and poor memory."

The report says sleep plays an essential role in physical and intellectual development and has also been linked directly to health, personality and obesity issues among young people.

The survey indicated that 45.9 per cent of children not getting the recommended hours of sleep reported weakened immunity causing them to be sick more often.

As well 36.5 per cent of those who fail to meet the recommended hours of sleep also suffer from obesity, while only 3.7 per cent of those who sleep well are overweight.

Content sourced from the People's Daily Online here