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Sleeping like babies no more

It’s not just harried executives losing sleep at night, leading psychiatrists in the city say even five-year-olds are not getting enough sleep, reports Jairaj Singh.

delhi Updated: Aug 18, 2007 02:56 IST
Jairaj Singh

It’s not just harried executives losing sleep at night, leading psychiatrists in the city say even five-year-olds are not getting enough sleep.

As a result of erratic new-age urban lifestyles, children between five and 15 years do not find the time to fit in all activities in their waking hours. This affects sleeping patterns, leading to other problems. Akaash, 13, often sleeps for just four hours, his evenings packed with homework, tuition, TV and online social networking. He is up by 4 am, to wrap up a PC game before school. Akaash’s friend Vinay fared poorly in his exams because of a similar lifestyle.

Dr Amit Sen, senior consultant psychiatrist for children and adolescents at the Sitaram Bhartia Institute says pressure to follow trends have doubled for children. Dr Avdesh Bansal, senior consultant, department of respiratory and sleep medicine at Apollo Hospital, says: “Children binge on junk food that leads to obesity. This affects sleep.” Experts say children need at least seven hours of sleep. Jitendra Nagpal, senior psychiatrist, VIMHANS, says: “School and parenting must play vital roles to control the problem.”