After their children had been asked by Chinese education authorities to sleep more than nine hours a day, some parents said the official requirement of students' sleep cycle was "unrealistic"
Under the Management Standard for Compulsory Education Schools, which was issued by the Ministry of Education recently, parents are asked to be "co-operative" and make students in primary and middle schools respectively sleep at least ten and nine hours on a daily basis.
This first set of basic principles for the compulsory education system now faces backlash from parents.
"My son has been under great pressure since getting admitted to a middle school," a mother in Hangzhou told the Qianjiang Evening News, "he can't make it because there is too much homework."
According to the survey conducted by the Hangzhou-based newspaper, 38 out of 50 parents claimed their primary school aged kids sleep about eight hours per day, while 0 out of 10 parents of teens in middle schools said their children met the requirements.
A national survey has suggested that a regional problem is brewing. Statistics show that 38 percent of children in eight cities sleep inadequately, presenting a more serious situation than their peers from the rural areas.
Then what is killing the sleep of children in China?
Chinese students spend 2.82 hours on homework every day, slightly lower than the figure of 3.03 hours three years ago, according to a report recently published by an Artificial Intelligence (AI) educational platform.
Despite this, the figure is nearly three times of the global average.
The massive amount of homework is believed to be the top school-related stress. Parents say tutorial classes after school and the expectation for admission to prestigious schools also contribute to the problem.
Xiao Yu, who studies at a middle school, offered another interpretation. "As a class leader, I'm responsible for dealing with the daily routine," he said, adding that he sometimes had to complete the work at home.
A mother said she was in a dilemma. "I don't want to push tensions, but it is a life-changing decision. I have no choice but to struggle in anxiety for the sake of my child."