Children who stay up late, particularly watching television or playing on games consoles, may cause irreparable damage to their body clocks.
Tokyo Medical and Dental University carried out research, published in Brain & Development, monitoring circadian rhythms, which are controlled by how much light the eyes are exposed to. Artificial light can confuse these rhythms, so the brain is unsure when day and night are.
The NHS reports it has seen a rise in the number of under 11 year-olds suffering from insomnia, sleep walking and other sleep problems. Technology has been blamed for this, as watching television, playing computer games and using mobile phones into the evening can over-stimulate children’s minds, making it harder for them to sleep.