Shattered teens subsisting on 'junk sleep'

Gadgets to blame for lack of kip

Researchers have fingered electronic gadgets as the primary cause of the UK's kids simply not getting enough kip, the BBC reports.

The Sleep Council polled 1,000 teenagers, and almost a quarter 'fessed up to falling asleep" watching TV, listening to music or with other equipment still running, more than once a week". Pretty well all the young 'uns had either a phone, TV or stereo in their bedroom, and two thirds boasted all three.

The upshot is that a third of 12 to 16-year-olds quizzed said they slept for "between four to seven hours a night", while experts say eight hours is required. And while 40 per cent admitted they felt a bit weary during the day, just 10 per cent "placed much importance on getting a good night's sleep".

The Edinburgh Sleep Centre's Dr Chris Idzikowski warned: "This is an incredibly worrying trend. What we are seeing is the emergence of 'Junk Sleep' - that is sleep that is of neither the length nor quality that it should be in order to feed the brain with the rest it needs.

"Youngsters need to be taught a healthy lifestyle includes healthy sleep as well as healthy food. The message is simple: switch off the gadgets and get more sleep."

Professor Jim Horne, big cheese down at Loughborough's Sleep Research Centre, quite rightly suggested urging teens to get their heads down is "easier said than done". He concluded: "I have two teenage kids, and the advice will just fall on deaf ears." ®

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