By Mark Waghorn via SWNS
Boarding school kids get the best night's sleep... because of strict lights out time, according to new research.
They sleep 40 minutes longer. Youngsters could get almost five hours extra a week if they all followed the same rules - with no phone access in bed.
Lead author Professor Kurt Lushington said: "It is a naturalistic experiment showing the secret to good sleep in teenagers is quite simple - a regular routine and no mobile devices at night."
Over the past 20 years, children's shut-eye has reduced dramatically. Only half regularly get more than seven hours. The recommended amount is eight to ten.
Biggest culprits are smartphones and tablets. They emitted blue light also wakes the brain - making it harder to drop off.
The phenomenon reduces mental health, academic performance and fuels behavioral problems.
An Australian team compared sleep patterns of 15 to 18 year olds at a high school in Adelaide.
The 59 boarders had to leave their phones in a kitchen area or on their desk before they retired - and turn their lights out by a set time based on age.
They slept an average 8 hours 26 minutes a night - compared to 7 hours 46 minutes achieved by their 250 peers.
A survey by the World Health Organization found British teenagers are among the worst sleepers in Europe - with over four in ten struggling to get enough.
Child health expert Proffesor Asaduzzaman Khan recommends parents reach agreement on a phone curfew.
This is most likely to work if they do likewise and offer other entertainment - such as books.
Khan, of the University of Queensland, said: "It can be a real challenge and there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
"But I think it is worth trying for the benefits to mental and physical health, attention, learning ability and academic performance that come with extra sleep."
Earlier this year a US study found sleep deprived teenagers consume an extra 4.5 pounds of sugar during a school year.
They gorge on sweets, cakes, chocolate and biscuits and guzzle fizzy drinks to boost energy levels.
Lack of sleep has been linked to the child obesity epidemic. It can lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Lushington presented the results at a meeting of the Australasian Sleep Association in Brisbane.
Stories and infographics by ‘Talker Research’ are available to download & ready to use. Stories and videos by ‘Talker News’ are managed by SWNS. To license content for editorial or commercial use and to see the full scope of SWNS content, please email [email protected] or submit an inquiry via our contact form.
Newly discovered type of ice could hold key to finding alien life
"This could be the starting point for finally explaining liquid water."
Electric cars really do reduce air pollution and boost public health: study
Scientists said asthma attacks and other respiratory problems fall as more electric cars are on the road.
Texas cold snap creates roads fit for ice skating
The wintry conditions have left much of the state dealing with the fallout of the unusually low temperatures.
Study finds a ‘gay glass ceiling’
"This is an example of internalized homophobia among the gay community and it impacts opportunities for these gay men.”
Psychic mom who connects celebrities with deceased loved ones
“I had a lot of dreams from people telling me to use my gift - and that's what I did.”
- Money6 days ago
A third of adults admit their parents still pay one of their bills
- Outer Space3 days ago
NASA planning mission to asteroid that could be worth more than global economy
- Pets3 days ago
4 in 5 claim their pets are bigger sports fans than them
- Animals1 week ago
Photographer captures moment zebra is born
- Fashion & Beauty1 week ago
Clothing line tricks A.I. into thinking wearer is an animal
- Art6 days ago
Artist creates 100-foot-long sea serpent in sand
- Health3 days ago
New treatment for auto-immune diseases in the works
- Cars2 days ago
Sci-fi-style electric vehicle entirely powered by the sun launches