back to article Shattered teens subsisting on 'junk sleep'

Researchers have fingered electronic gadgets as the primary cause of the UK's kids simply not getting enough kip, the BBC reports. The Sleep Council polled 1,000 teenagers, and almost a quarter 'fessed up to falling asleep" watching TV, listening to music or with other equipment still running, more than once a week". Pretty …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iPod too loud?

    "I have two teenage kids, and the advice will just fall on deaf ears."

    That will be because they have had their iPods too loud for too long.

  2. jai


    when i were a lad we didn't have no fancy gadegtry in our bedrooms to keep us awake all night

    but that didn't mean i went to sleep when i was sposed to - did no one else read books by torchlight under the bedcovers?

    just because the technology has changes doesn't mean that kids are behaving any different - it's in the nature of all kids to try and stay awake as long as possible

    and it doesn't matter how much sleep you get, schoolwork is still boring

  3. Peter Kay

    Books keep you awake, ban books!

    Of course, as you get older, you always get the right amount of sleep


  4. Ralph B

    Drink Yourself to Academic Success

    So, this survey tells us da yoot sleep less than ever, and other surveys tell us they drink more than ever, and yet they still get record results in their exams. Seems I was a real sucker to study, sleep and stay sober during my schooling.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Right on...

    I was always late because of reading till 1, 2 in the morning.

    But need I say - Elite? That, on my acorn electron, probably was responsible for my less than stellar performance in my second year.

  6. sean

    lack of sleep

    my lack of sleep all through my teenage years was due to listening to late night radio, john peel and then local pirate stations.

    so things have changed a lot, the music kids listen to now is obviously nowhere near as good lol

  7. Duncan Hothersall

    More pisspoor science

    Mr Idzikowski should not be using words like "trend" when he is making a singular observation. Unless he has evidence from comparable studies done previously, the limit of his comment should be "I have observed this behaviour today".

    Hmm. Is the Luddite Army funding junk science now?

  8. Iain Bagnall


    Whats wrong with leaving a pc on? I can't turn it off, its got my torrents running overnight. I now have trouble sleeping WITHOUT it turned on. I just can't sleep thinking of all that stuff I'm not pirating.

  9. Graham Wood

    Reading books really is harmful to your health!

    I thought I'd grown out of reading too late, but it seems that even at the grand age of 31, I'm still as guilty.

    I picked up a book at 9pm a couple of days ago, and finished it around 4am - which is bad enough. The fact that it was the most recent Harry Potter book is just embarassing.

    (And for all of you that don't know the ending yet: Hermione wakes up with Harry in the shower, it's all been a dream since about 4 years ago)

  10. Chris Croughton


    I too used to read books under the bedclothes until late at night. I still do read books until late at night (although at 50 I no longer need to hide under the bedclothes to do so!). And then later when I had a (valve) radio in my room I used to stay awake until closedown (remember when radio stations used to close down at night?) and wake up at 6am when the station came back on. I doubt I ever had 8 hours sleep at night as a teenager except when I was ill. I doubt that there is any noticable difference in teenage sleep patterns in the last 50 years...

  11. Gaius Baltar

    Offt no sleep, doing me harm?


    Having recently left my teenage years (I'm a ripe 22 now!) I actually get less sleep now than I did then!

    Many a night was spent playing Counter-Strike (I was young and stupid!) but nothing in comparison to sitting up reading books/playing Wacraft/Listening to Radio.

    Actually, I think radio is my biggest vice, it's warcraft till 2am, radio till 3am, up for work at 9am...

    Has my health suffered? Probably.

    Does this study actually prove anything? No.

  12. Mark Serlin

    Lack of sleep? Pah!

    All this shows that they will be that much more prepared for when they have a couple of kids of thier own. 4hrs a night? Luxury!

  13. Tr0n

    Why we do this!

    Has anyone actually considered WHY we do this?

    Our whole civilisation is built around people who stay awake at night and do these sorts of things - and why? Because we're forced into schooling or working our days away, (8 hours) sleep (8 hours supposedly) and other nick-nacks (eating, being forced to converse with our 'elders') being 3 hours, maybe 4... that's 20 hours.. (I still feel I'm missing something)

    You think you can squeeze all your interests into 4 hours?

    There's no other way to get more time than to steal it from sleep, unless you want to starve or go on the dole.

  14. Dave Green

    What's the problem, exactly?

    From reading both this and the BBC article, there is the hint that the gadgets themselves may be causing the problem, as distinct from the lack of sleep which their use may cause. Unfortunately, the language used is somewhat ambiguous, so it's difficult to be sure.

    Could El Reg clarify?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gadgets now is it?

    In my day I was up until 2 am doing homework.

    Badly, mind, because I was sleep deprived and therefore working slower and crapper. Not that my pathetic school grades proved an insurmountable barrier to getting a PhD when I was good and ready (and had spent time on the dole realising how much better I could perform if I didn't have to get up too early)

  16. Nick

    Those Damn Dirty Experts Again...

    Those flippin experts prescribing 8hrs sleep again. Is this the same group that insist on 5 pints of water a day or whatever it is? As human beings, we should do what our bodies tell us - we're all different and as such need what our bodies need.

    Sorry for the mardiness - I'm a little sleep deprived! :)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Hermione wakes up with Harry in the shower"

    Do you mean that Hermione and Harry are in the shower and she wakes up while they are showering, or that Hermione wakes up while Harry is in the shower. I don't give a toss for the book, but I used to have a friend who would wake up only after I'd brought her tea in bed, and she'd been sitting up for 5 mins drinking it.

  18. Charles Manning

    Nothing new

    As a kid growing up in South Africa I would often wake up at 3am or so to listen to shortwave radio (Beeb, VOA, ...) using crystal sets that I built or an old valve (US: tooooob) set that I fixed. That was 35 years ago.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Light kills...

    Now if you really want to worry, go to and learn how your whole hormone system gets trashed by exposing yourself intermittently to light this way, making you highly eligible for diabetes, cancer and the lot.

  20. Tim Bates

    I don't know about sleep.

    I don't know about getting less sleep due to gadgets, but the gadgets are certainly making things different during the daytime...

    Students for some reason have become unable to function without a cable running from their ear to their pocket.

    I might sound a bit like an old fart, but some of them will have "industrial deafness" before they finish school. If I can clearly here earbud style headphones from more than 10m away, I suspect it's not doing good things inside their ears.

  21. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Vote for me

    I have the solution ! As soon as I am voted Emperor of the Known Universe, I will decree that the standard day will be comprised of no less than 36 hours - 12 hours of day, and 24 hours of night.

    That way, we will all get our daily grind of 10-12 hours at work, then we will be able to come home and do our 4-6 hours of family stuff/house chores, and then happily spend 6 to 8 hours doing our fun stuff/favorite hobby. With all that done, we will STILL have 12 whole hours to sleep for the next day !

    Get the word out and Vote Me For Emperor !


  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is that all?

    Eight hours sleep!? I don't know how anyone can survive on less than nine (preferably ten).

  23. Bill Coleman

    Luddite Army funding junk science now?

    Thats a rhetorical question, right? Gotta luv the luddites. You made my laugh.

  24. Spike Ravenscroft

    Nothing New

    This is simply an excuse because large portions of society isn't capable of taking responsibility for their, or their kids actions.

    And its no surprise, they aren't encouraged to.

    With the nanny state telling us what to do and what not to do and what is for our own good (honest), there is a real lack of personal responsibility today.

    So, instead of looking at why kids aren't behaving the way "we" want them to, and are totally out of control (like teenagers have always been. Todays are no different from any other generation), they come up with something to blame and use it as another excuse for control.

    Oops, I see another freakish law coming in to stop whatever we're doing wrong now..

    In all fairness, the department who did the study is very well respected, I've worked with them before.

  25. Jonas Taylor

    A bit high?

    I don't care what these so called "scientists" say; I know how long I like to sleep for and it isn't 8 hours - that is just too long and I actually start to feel less refreshed. I always set my alarm for 6½ to 7 hours and find that that is the ideal amount of sleep for me. I really hope these people didn't get paid for this "research" as any idiot could have told you the length of time teenagers sleep for and the reason for it.

  26. Law


    I never fell asleep unintentionally doing any of those things as a kid.... but I often saw my dad fall asleep after eating a sunday roast - or my mum fall asleep while reading a book!! As a concerned ex-teenage I believe it's my right to ban reading and eating of sunday roasts for anybody who was born before 1980!! It's only right we allow our oldies to have a boring life and not enjoy the things they want to do when tired sat at home.... oh wait, hang on a minute.... maybe thats the link!

  27. Steve Roper

    8 hours? Bollocks!

    An old saying (from the middle ages) goes:

    Six for a man, Seven for a woman, Eight for a fool. (The necessary hours of sleep)

    Even five hundred years ago the work-laden peasants were up before dawn and working m'lud's cattle and crops until dark, then working on everying else that needed to be done until midnight. If anything, we get more sleep now than we did back then!

    For my part, I sleep when I'm tired. I usually have a couple of hours' kip in the evening when I finish work, stay up until 2-3 in the morning on the computer (which works for me on forums etc. because late at night here is daytime for all of you in the Western Hemisphere) and then finish sleeping from 3 to 7. Some nights I just don't go to bed at all, then the next evening I'll just sleep right through the night. So my sleeping patterns are as irregular as the metro train service!

    But at 40 I can still do my job, I don't get tired at work, and I haven't noticed any adverse effects from doing this. So this 8-hours thing is a load of bollocks, IMO!

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