Up to two thirds of UK children aren’t getting enough sleep, according to experts. With 74% getting less sleep than the recommended amount for adults, some are struggling to stay awake in lessons.
The Travelodge Child Sleep Study examined the sleep patterns of over 2,000 children aged 6 to 15 and found that 79% of children surveyed got so little sleep they found it difficult to concentrate in school.
Eight out of 10 children experienced ‘extreme daytime tiredness’ and over 26% admitted to falling asleep in class at least once a week.
The study also found that the average 6-year-old doesn’t go to bed until 9.33pm, children aged 8 don’t hit the sack until 9.49pm, 10-year-olds stay up until 10.06pm and the average 12-year-old’s bedtime is around 11.17pm.
Jay Turner, from the Sleep Council, said, “Parents are simply not strict enough about enforcing bedtimes. A good night’s sleep is critical for the development and well being of young children. We believe regular bedtimes along with the right sort of sleeping environment is vital to achieving this.”
Experts are concerned that sleep-deprived children will sturrgle at school and have problems with social skills. The Sleep Council reccomends that parents invest in a good bed, make sure their child’s bedroom is well ventilated and is free from distractions such as TVs and electronic gadgets.
But how many hours sleep is enough?
Guidelines for kids are:
2 to 3 years – 10.5 to 12.5 hours of sleep per night
4 to 5 years – 12 hours of sleep per night
6 years – 11.5 hours of sleep per night
7 to 11 years – 9.5 to 11.5 hours per night
Still having trouble?
Travelodge has a few tips to help children chant those Zs:
- Establish a regular time for bed each night and don’t vary from it
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine, give your child a warm bath or shower
- Make bedtime fun – read your child a story
- Don’t give your child any food or drinks containing caffeine before bed
- Avoid giving your child a large meal before bedtime
- Make after dinner playtime a relaxing time as too much activity close to bedtime can keep children awake
- Exercise should be included in your child’s day to help them sleep well
- There should be no TV or music playing while your child is going to sleep
- Ensure the temperature in the bedroom is comfortable
- Make sure the noise level in the house is low