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School timings adversely affect physical, mental growth of kids: Study

In a latest research, a British scientist has found that school timings are depriving children of much-needed sleep as they start early which puts an adverse affect on their physical and mental growth.


School timings adversely affect physical, mental growth of kids: Study

New Delhi: In a latest research, a British scientist has found that school timings are depriving children of much-needed sleep as they start early which puts an adverse affect on their physical and mental growth.

According to a report published in Times Of India on Sunday, Oxford University professor Paul Kelly, who is working along with American scientists at Harvard University, said at the recently held British Science Fair that children aged eight to 10 should start school at 8.30 am or later, 16-year-old should start at 10 am, and 18-year-old at 11 am.

Considering that children across the world are hooked on to their mobile phones and iPads, the sleep deprivation state may not differ much in India. As sleep deprivation is emerging as one of the risk factors for disease ranging from diabetes to obesity to depression, Kelly wants to start trials under the TeenSleep project.

Notably, in a research paper published last year, Kelly had calculated that British children lose around 10 hours of sleep every week.

In India, where many leave home for school even before the sun is up, the new western thought got mixed reactions: some experts, including doctors and principals, agreed that children were sleep-deprived but felt that changing timings would not be easy.

In India, where many leave home for school even before the sun is up, the new western thought got mixed reactions: some experts, including doctors and principals, agreed that children were sleep-deprived but felt that changing timings would not be easy.

However, opposing the idea of delaying the school timings, while speaking exclusively to Zee Media Group, Director Education, Lotus Greens, Madhu Chandra said, “Nowadays, children and adolescents stay up late due to reasons like working parents coming home late, other social lifestyles, and biological changes during puberty.”

“If the kids will sleep early they will definitely face no problem getting-up early in the morning. Going school early will even help students to go for tution classes and take out some leisure time for themselves,” she said, adding that traffic also remains week at early morning which will further help children to save their time.

On the other hand some children and parents said that it will be helpful for them if the school timings are delayed a bit.

“They have to go for classes after school, which cuts down on their leisure time. They are addicted to gadgets, which further cuts into their sleep time,“ parents told Zee Media .

“Schools should ideally start around 8.30am and should be like a day boarding where students don't just study ,“ TOI quoted former school principal Amita Katyal as saying.

Furthermore, Kelly in his research have said that lack of sleep and abrupt cycles of it also increases obesity and memory problems in kids.

“In the long run, sleep deprivation can increase risk of heart disease, high BP, stroke and diabetes,” says the report.

The report further adds that lack of sleep can further affect sex drive and lead to weight gain. In children, it can lead to daytime drowsiness, depression, headaches, lower concentration and poor performance at school.

Here is the age-wise sleep ranges suggested by US National Sleep foundation:

0-3 months: 14-17 hours a day.

4-11 months: 12-15 hours.

1-2 years: 11-14 hours.

Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours.

School-age kids (6-13): 9-11 hours.

Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours.

Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours.

Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours.

Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours.

From Zee News

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