Wed, Mar 09, 2016 - Page 4 News List

Survey shows insomnia affects 24% of adolescents

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Society of Sleep Medicine yesterday said its survey this year of the sleeping habits of adolescents showed that 24 percent of respondents have experienced insomnia, adding that insufficient sleep can affect grades.

The survey, which was conducted in January with responses from 506 junior-high and senior-high school students, showed that adolescents spend an average of 7.12 hours sleeping on nights before school days and 9.26 hours on nights before weekend days, with senior-high school students sleeping less than junior-high school students on average because of greater academic stress.

Huang Yen-lin (黃彥霖), a clinical psychologist at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Sleep Center, who helped conduct the survey, said it determined insomnia rates by asking whether respondents were unable to fall asleep after being in bed for 30 minutes or unable to fall asleep after waking up to go to the bathroom.

Among the respondents who reported sleeping less than seven hours per night, 63.5 percent were often late for class and 75.5 percent said they have fallen asleep in class, Huang said, adding that insufficient sleep can affect gades.

About 55 percent of those who reported sleeping more than seven hours per night had grades in the top one-third of their class, while the adolescents whose grades ranked toward the bottom showed a higher rate of insomnia, he added.

The survey showed that adolescents living in the greater Taipei area and Keelung have higher rates of insomnia and on average went to sleep later.

Huang said parents might arrange extracurricular learning activities for their children, which could reduce their sleeping time and affect their learning, adding that parents should make sure children are getting enough sleep.

The organization said the survey showed that adolescents who spend more time on the Internet or playing computer games have greater rates of insomnia.

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