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Sleep ‘lessons’ required for children – survey

30-10-2009

A new survey has revealed that there is a majority consensus for teaching children the value of a good night’s sleep, in order for them to achieve positive results in education and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The study, carried out by a team of leading sleep experts on behalf of the Sleep Council, found that 73% of respondents felt that the sleep lessons should be taught in schools, 60% believed the classes should be on the National Curriculum and some 80% were aware of the impacts that poor sleep can have on a child’s education.

“It has always been, and always will remain, the job of parents and carers to ensure children get a good night’s sleep,” said a spokesperson for the Department for Children, Schools and Families. “But schools can also play a part in ensuring children have the right knowledge to make healthy, informed choices about their mental and physical wellbeing. The personal, social, health and economic curriculum will help young people learn about dealing with emotions, a balanced diet, the benefits of exercise and other issues which all contribute to a healthy lifestyle.”

Other findings in the survey were that more than half (58%) of parents of children aged under five didn’t know that three year olds require up to twelve hours regular sleep, and a third of the parents overall (33%) weren’t aware that six to twelve year old children need ten hours sleep.

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