Survey finds coronavirus disrupts children's life

NHK -- Oct 10
A survey in Japan has found that many children's sleep patterns have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

A team of experts at the National Center for Child Health and Development conducted an online survey targeting children up to 17 years of age and their guardians to assess the impact of the outbreak. It drew over 4,500 responses between September 1 and 22.

Asked whether their bedtime has changed from before the outbreak, 17 percent of children from age three to third grade said it was delayed by at least one hour or became irregular. The figure rose to 36 percent among children in fourth grade or above.

Regarding quality of sleep, 42 percent of all children said they have trouble getting up in the morning.

Asked whether they ever felt like not going to school, 13 percent said they always or almost always felt that way, while 20 percent said they felt that way from time to time.

Dr. Hangai Mayumi, who carried out the survey, said the children began to wake up at a normal time again as schools resumed, but their bedtime remained the same. She pointed out that a disruption in daily routines tends to cause stress in children. She added that it is important to limit the time they spend on computer games and smartphones and make other rules.