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China have insufficient sleep
20:17, 2010-Aug-24 A new study on students' sleeping habits suggests that more than 70 percent of primary through senior high school students do not get enough sleep.

Researchers at Xinhua Hospital, an affiliate of Shanghai Jiaotong University's School of Medicine, found that primary school students get an average of 9 hours and 10 minutes of sleep a night; junior high students get 8 hours and 6 minutes; and senior high school students get 7 hours and 9 minutes. None of those times are enough for each group, researchers say.

A parent blamed a heavy homework load, as well as extracurricular activities that take up even more of a student's time.

"No parent would like to see their child lagging behind at the very start," the parent said.

Yan Chonghuai of Xinhua Hospital said insufficient sleep causes various problems in children and teenagers.

"Insufficient sleep will not only restrain children's all-around development, but will also lead to the decline of children's social adaptive capability," Yan said. "Insufficient sleep will also increase the likelihood of accidents, depression, suicide and hyperactivity."

In 2007, Shanghai Municipal Education Commission ordered primary and middles schools in the city to adjust their schedules so that students could get more sleep. Two years later, a study found that students at schools that adjusted their schedules got more sleep than in 2005.

The researchers of the current study hope education departments nationwide will take similar measures to ensure students have enough sleep. Students in other places may be getting even less sleep than those in Shanghai.

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