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Sleep lessons: sweet dreams are made of these?Digg it


A tired teenager, sleeping in late.

Sleep Scotland's recommendations include a media-free bedroom and avoiding any stimulating activity beyond early evening. Photograph: Alamy

Parents have struggled for years to encourage children to go to bed on time. In Scotland, however, all the family should be enjoying sweet dreams in the future, as pupils are to be given lessons in how to sleep. The charity Sleep Scotland is providing classes free of charge in a pilot scheme at three schools in Glasgow in an attempt to tackle problems caused by a lack of sleep.

Glasgow city council estimates that as many as one in four teenagers are not getting the appropriate nine hours of slumber a night, and said there was "increasing evidence" suggesting a link between lack of sleep and obesity, lower academic achievement and depression. Jane Anstell, the director and founder of Sleep Scotland, said lack of sleep among UK teenagers was a "huge problem".

"We started off working with kids with special needs with sleep problems," she said. "And basically in my teenage clinic I felt I'd got a lot of kids who maybe didn't have ADHD or Asperger's they had total sleep deprivation." Ansell said the classes could help improve teenagers' behaviour, and she hoped to roll out lessons across Scotland.

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