(ECNS) -- More than 60 percent of Chinese teenagers sleep less than eight hours a day and homework is thought to be the key reason, according to a survey by the Chinese Sleep Research Society, ahead of World Sleep Day.
The report is based on an online survey of more than 70,000 people, including 65,648 young people and 1,916 parents.
The survey found that 81.2 percent of teens aged 13 to 17 slept less than eight hours a day, compared with 32.2 percent of children aged six to 12.
The report said heavy school/homework loads, electronic devices and sleep environments, which included factors such as noise, sound and light, were the top three causes of inadequate sleep. The sleep habits of parents were also found to be a factor in the sleep quality of their children.
Before 11pm from Monday to Thursday, 8.64 percent of students were busy with homework, the report said. Of the young people who reported poor sleep quality, 41.9 percent said they used digital devices such as tablets and mobile phones before going to bed. Of those with good sleep quality, only 7.4 percent spent time on such devices before bed.
The survey also showed that poor sleep quality directly affected the physical and mental health as well as the academic performance of young people. Among young people with poor sleep quality, 36.5 percent were shown to have developed obesity while 40.5 percent had suffered nervous breakdowns or depression. Among young people who enjoyed good sleep quality, the figures were only 3.7 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.
The survey also said 41.9 percent of students with poor sleep quality were ranked in the lowest 25 percent in learning performance in their classes.
Researchers assessed the sleep quality of Chinese adolescents from three dimensions: sleep duration, sleep disturbance, and how they feel upon waking. On average, the young people scored just 67.14.
World Sleep Day is an annual event, intended to celebrate sleep and call on important issues related to sleep, including medicine, education, social aspects and driving, according to the event's advocator. It falls on March 15 this year.