Lack of sleep amongst schoolchildren at the primary level has always been an age-old problem for both students and parents, more so in today’s fast-paced world. Recent research however, shows the problem is now more pronounced than ever, with over 90 percent of primary teachers reporting that their pupils are too tired to give their full attention in class. Another 38 percent of teachers admitted that sleepy primary students are a daily source of concern for them.
Asked on what they think caused the sleeplessness of students, 88 percent of teachers said that modern distractions during bedtime, such as TVs and video games were the root cause behind children sleeping late. On the other hand, 82 percent of teachers point out that lenient parents who failed to properly enforce bedtimes were the cause behind the problem.
Furthermore, over half of the teachers surveyed in the study concurred that their brightest students were often those that stayed fully awake and alert in the classroom.
The survey, which included feedback from 250 teachers at the primary school level, was conducted on behalf of The Sleep Council for its special project centered on raising awareness on student performance and sleep problems, “Better Brains with More Sleep.” The study coincides with National Bed Month, which takes place on March, and aims to spread word to primary schoolchildren on the importance of getting enough sleep at night, sleeping at regular hours, and sleeping on the right type of bed.
Jessica Alexander of The Sleep Council said that the study was conducted with the goal of showing how much of a widespread problem the lack of sleep is among young children in school. She points out that she along with her colleagues were shocked by the severity of the issue.
Other noteworthy findings include the 24 percent of teachers who now resort to letting catch up on some sleep in class by allowing them to rest in a classroom corner. Around 68 percent of teachers polled also believed that the long-term progress of their students would be affected if their sleep problems were left unattended, while 48 percent said that sleeplessness in students made them behave badly in class.