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It’s official. Teenagers need more sleep than their parents. According to sleep experts, people aged between 10 and 17 need to sleep between 8.5 and 9.25 hours each night. Are you tired at the moment? What time did you go to bed last night? Have you ever fallen asleep in a class? Recent research shows that 25 per cent of the UK population suffer from some sort of sleep disorder and two-thirds of British children may be sleep deprived.
Research in Scotland has shown that teenagers are suffering from sleep deprivation which is causing problems with behaviour, concentration and learning. To get nine hours sleep, a teenager needs to go to bed at about 10 p.m. during the school week. However, many young people watch TV till around midnight and then play computer games till late into the night. Teachers in Scotland now give lessons on the importance of sleep to their teenage pupils. The teachers want young people to understand that sleep is very important if you want to do well at school and enjoy your life.
People of different ages from around the UK emailed us about their sleeping habits:
I have a strange habit of falling asleep when I watch the television and it usually happens when I am watching something I am really interested in! The television seems to hypnotise me and I doze off really easily. Then when I go upstairs to bed I find I can’t sleep and I usually listen to the radio for hours and hours during the night.
Philip, aged 64
I have an eight-month-old baby and a three-year-old so I don’t get much sleep at the moment. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I had a whole night’s sleep. Last night I think I had about five hours, as the baby woke up three times. I work during the day and it can be difficult to stay awake when I haven’t slept much.
Clare, aged 35
I share a room with my older brother. He snores! It’s really annoying.
Clyde, aged 16
I read in the paper the other day that most children in Britain don’t sleep enough. They watch TV until late in the evening and then they are really tired at school. I’m a teacher and sometimes in the classes after lunch the students look as if they are about to fall asleep. They yawn a lot and look quite exhausted! Some people say that maybe school should start later for teenagers. I think they might be right.
Jag, aged 29
If you have a sleep problem here is some advice from the sleep experts:
- You shouldn’t drink tea or coffee in the evenings.
- You should go to bed at the same time every night, even at the weekend.
For more tips on how to get a good night's sleep have a look at these exam study tips.
Worksheets and downloads
How much sleep do you get on a school night? Do you sleep too much or too little? Do your sleep habits change at the weekend?