BBC Home
Explore the BBC



Last Updated: Saturday October 24 2009 13:41 GMT

Children 'need sleep lessons'

Girl about to go to sleep

If a group of doctors get their way, you could soon be having lessons in how to get a good night's sleep.

They reckon having the right amount of sleep is just as important as eating healthily and exercising regularly.

Experts say a lack of sleep makes it hard to concentrate in class and bad sleeping habits can lead to health problems when you're older.

Politicians will now consider whether to introduce lessons on the importance of sleep.

Woman asleep

The Sleep Council, which raises awareness about sleep, spoke to 2,000 parents and found that lots of them didn't know how much sleep kids need.

The survey recommended 12 hours' sleep a night for three-year-olds and between eight and nine hours' for teenagers.

Edinburgh Sleep Centre expert Dr Chris Idzikowski said: "We teach children about nutrition and ensure regular exercise is part of their weekly activities but the third critical ingredient of a healthy lifestyle - sleep - is barely touched upon."

Sleep tips

Top tips for a good night's sleep include going to bed at the same time each night and sleeping in a comfortable bed.

Sleeping in a dark room, banning gadgets from your bedroom and making sure you get lots of exercise and a healthy diet will also help.