A University of Hong Kong study has found that, under the Covid epidemic, school children are going to sleep very late and waking up very late, leading to poor sleep quality. The lack of in-person classes has also led to fewer physical activities for children.
The findings came after the university’s Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and the InspiringHK Sports Foundation conducted a study between 2019 and 2022, interviewing around 1,900 primary and secondary school kids.
forcing the suspension of in-person classes at school, the study has found a delay in kids’ bedtime.
Patrick Ip Pak-keung, the department’s clinical associate professor, noted that with kids going to bed late, their levels of growth hormone and melatonin will be reduced. Their cerebrospinal fluid levels will also be reduced, making it harder for kids to clear toxic waste from the brain during sleep.
Meanwhile, the study required students to wear fitness trackers for a whole week, finding that they only engaged in moderate and vigorous physical activities on a daily average of 15 to 30 minutes, way lower than the World Health Organization’s suggested time interval of 60 minutes per day.
The research team called on students to engage in moderate and vigorous physical activities for an additional 15 minutes each day, so as to improve their sleep quality.