Young People Deprived of Sleep by School Work, Video Games

      December 17, 2010 11:31

      Young Koreans get an average of just 7 hours and 32 minutes of sleep per night, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family said Thursday, citing a study by Statistics Korea.

      The nationwide survey of 4,628 people aged between 10 and 24 years old found that 75.3 percent do not get the recommend amount sleep, which is 8 hours and 30 minutes per night according to the U.S. National Sleep Foundation. High school students got the shortest sleep time of just 6 hours and 31 minutes, with a whopping 96.4 percent of them failing to meet the recommended amount.

      The amount of time that young people spending sleeping has been falling steadily for the past 10 years. In 1999, elementary students used to get an average of 8 hours 48 minutes of sleep, but in 2009 the figure declined to 8 hours and 38 minutes. Middle school students saw their time drop from 7 hours 48 minutes in 1999 to 7 hours 38 minutes, and high schoolers from 6 hours 39 minutes to 6 hours 31 minutes.

      Young people in Western countries get about an hour more rest time than their counterparts here. In the U.S., those aged between 15 and 24 spend an average of 8 hours 47 minutes asleep. In the U.K. the average is 8 hours 36 minutes, in Germany 8 hours 6 minutes, Sweden 8 hours 26 minutes and Finland 8 hours 31 minutes.

      Park Nan-sook of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family said the main cause of sleep deprivation here is too much time devoted to extra learning after school and computer games. The survey revealed that 8.8 percent of high school students receive private tutoring or lessons even after 11 p.m., and 19.5 percent of youth aged 16 to 19 use the Internet between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.  

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