BBC Learning English 英语教学

Was your mum right to send you to bed? 你几点睡觉?

He is sleeping now. Will he do well in his exams?

Vocabulary: sleep 词汇: 睡眠


I loved action movies when I was a kid. And I nagged my mum to allow me to go to bed late so that I could watch the ones broadcast after the watershed. They were more interesting. She didn't want me feeling sleepy the following day but she always relented.

A new piece of research suggests that my erratic bedtimes might be behind not only my non-stop yawning at school but also a couple of bad results in tests. A UK study of more than 11,000 seven-year-olds concluded that there is a link between sleep patterns and brain power.

The analysis showed that youngsters who had no regular bedtime or who went to bed later than 21:00 had lower scores for reading and maths.

The reason? Scientists, led by Prof Amanda Sacker from University College London, think that lack of sleep may disturb natural body rhythms and impair how well the brain learns new information.

According to the researchers, by the age of seven more than half the children had a regular bedtime of between 19:30 and 20:30. Maybe much earlier than you and me.

I'm not sure if my mother would agree with this study's results. A reader using the name 'ClaireyBeary77' wrote to the website to say that her five-year-old son goes to sleep around 22:00. After having dinner, doing his homework, playing and watching TV with her, he goes to bed late and does well at school.

Another mother, 'Lisa337', blamed the teachers. She wrote: "I wish someone would tell teachers that plenty of sleep is more important than homework for small children!"

It got me thinking how difficult it must be for kids to hit the sack today when there are so many interesting things to do. Who can go to bed early and miss hours of excitement with computer games? I would have played all night! And what about your friends on social media? You can't sleep when they are awake somewhere on the other side of the world!

What time did you go to bed when you were a child? Did it cause you any problems?

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