ITV reports that research published today has revealed that the academic development of British children is being significantly affected by dangerously low levels of sleep. The study, carried out by the University of Leeds in conjunction with Silentnight, looks into the effect of bedtime routines and the impact on quality of life of 6-11 year olds.
Led by Dr Anna Weighall, a developmental cognitive psychologist with expertise in sleep research, this is the first major study to characterise children’s sleep habits in the UK and has been conducted after consultation from more than a thousand parents.
The findings have revealed that 36 per cent of primary school age children get eight hours or less sleep a night and 15 per cent get seven hours or less. Such low levels of sleep are likely to have a negative impact on a child’s ability to function in the classroom and reach key milestones.
Poor routine could be to blame, with 83 per cent of children reporting being awake by 6:30am on a weekday despite five per cent still being awake at 10pm the night before and 16 per cent still being awake at 9pm.