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Teens still lack sleep due to lots of school stress

By Wang Yufeng (Global Times)

09:31, October 26, 2011

Experts and authorities met Tuesday to get the juices flowing on plans to tackle sleep deprivation of teenagers in Shanghai, a third of who are not sleeping enough due to academic pressures.

Experts said that many teenagers are failing the eight-hour requirement advised via a national regulation introduced in 2009, with at least a third of the city's teenagers shutting their eyes for only six hours a night - a greater number of teens than those who had the same problem four years ago.

"This is very damaging to their health," Dong Xiaoping, a senior researcher who specializes in teenage development, from Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said at the meeting organized by Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission, on Tuesday.

"But sleeping is a personal issue, which is hard to supervise," she added. "Parents should pay close attention to how much their child is sleeping, not just on how much time they spend studying."

Experts attributed sleep loss to high academic pressures.

"Shanghai students spend roughly $5 (32 yuan) a year on going to the movies, while their peers in New York spend more than $75 on the activity," said Su Songxing, a researcher specializing in youth development at Shanghai East Asia Institute. "Unlike New York teenagers, our children have little time to enjoy the arts because they are under too much stress."

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