From Chinese Media

Half of China's kids lack sleep

Updated: 2011-01-25 13:16

By Zhao Chenyan (

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Half of China's kids lack sleep
Students take taekwondo training in Yinchuan, capital city of Ningxia Hui autonomous region in Northwest China, Jan 16, 2011.[Photo/Xinhua]

At 7 am, five-year-old Huang Yuanyuan and her mother are already waiting to catch a bus to a holiday English class.

Through the icy breeze in Beijing, Yuanyuan seems listless and doesn't utter any words.

"She's too tired from length lack of sleep," said her mother, "She must get up early for English classes every morning since the holiday started, followed by piano and drawing lessons."

Huang Yuanyuan is like most Chinese children who face a mountain of homework and attend classes during the holidays to improve their skills, the Beijing Times reported on Tuesday.

Nearly half of primary and middle school students surveyed in a new poll go to sleep after 10 pm and half of their parents think that lack of sleep has affected their child's memory, thinking and growth, according to the survey conducted by and the Beijing Times.

A survey early in 2007 conducted by Chinese Youth and Children Research Center (CYCRC) showed China's children spend 8.6 hours a day at school, with some spending 12 hours a day in the classroom, which is much lower than the doctors' recommendation of nine hours of sleep for children and teenagers.

"We know this is drudgery for a child, but it's the only way for her to go to a well-known primary and secondary school, then a famous university and have a bright future," her mother sighed.


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