Wednesday, 18 Mar, 2009 Health & Fitness

Why Should Children Go To Sleep Early?


Children and teenagers love to stay till late hours in order to play computer games or to see their favorite series and they never seem to have enough time during daytime. However, scientists forestall that regular lack of sleep during childhood could deprive one of normal sleep for all their life.

Even though doctors don't know yet exactly why we sleep, the use of sleeping is unquestionable. Its lack brings about disturbances in concentration, lowers work abilities, leads to bad mood and even increases appetite, which can lead to overeating and all of its consequences.

Recently, doctors discovered another side-effect of sleep insufficiency. Japanese doctors affirm that if a child is allowed to go to sleep later than 10-11, when he of she is older he will be in a high risk of severe insomnia. Its cause lies in the fact that children don't have their biological clock established yet and, as a result, the habits which are developed when they are 9-12 years old remain for all their lives. More than that, children's biorhythms are so frail that it is enough to sleep only half of the night several times during a week and the biorhythms go wrong. In general, if a child is used to stay in front of a TV or a computer monitor till late hours, in his adult life he of she won't be able to fall asleep when going to bed earlier. It is very complicated to reverse this process.

This is the conclusion drawn by the scientists from the Medicinal University from Tokyo, led by doctor Jun Kahayama. They gathered detailed statistics about the way day rhythms of children with different models of behaviour change. They are being regulated by a special area of the brain – nucleus suprachiasmaticus, which, according to doctors, reacts on the quantity of light perceived by the human eye. When the child is exposed to the influence of artificial light during night - be that from the computer or the TV – the brain cannot determine whether the day has ended or not and, thus, doesn't send signals for sleeping. As a consequence, the brain is "reprogrammed" for a later time of sleeping.

Scientists also pay attention to the fact that, during the last 5 years, the number of children younger than 11, suffering from different sleep disturbances, has increased by 26 per cent. Their British colleagues also share these concerns: the director of the Center of Sleep Researches in Great Britain, professor Jim Horn, considers that children who are constantly using computers and mobile telephones overexcite their brain during the day and, thus, cannot sleep normally at night.

Posted by summer_rain

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