Sleeping for less than nine hours a night makes children struggle at school

Children need at least nine hours of sleep a night to ensure they learn and develop properly

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Children who get less than nine hours sleep a night are more likely to struggle at school, according to new research.

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Six and 7-year-olds who sleep for less than nine hours were found to do worse at spelling, grammar and comprehension, and have more trouble working out basic maths questions.

The study assessed 142 primary aged children and found that their memory and ability was affected by less sleep.

“Most children sleep less than is recommended for their intellectual development, which is hindered because the lack of sleep cannot be recovered,” explained Ramon Cladellas, from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, where the research was conducted.

With more and more children allowed to have TVs and computers in their rooms, there are worries that their sleep is suffering.

“Pupils that sleep eight or nine hours have a worse performance than those that sleep nine to 11 hours,” he added. “Nowadays there is a great concern because children are glued to the television, computers and videogames, but the same importance is not given to them going to bed at the same time every night.”

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