Any child who does not get at least eight hours sleep may suffer some mental problems.

This, according to Emmanuel Aboakye, a psychologist at the Mental hospital in Accra, is because sleep deprivation can exacerbate anxiety symptoms among children.

Children now have to sacrifice a lot due to the careers of their parents. Majority of them now wake up as early as 3:30 am to enable their parents to get to work on time.

But this phenomenon, studies have proven, is negatively affecting the mental development of children.

Commenting on the issue on Adom FM’s morning show Dwaso Nsem Thursday, Emmanuel Boakye said children who are deprived of sleep are also at increased risk of depression.

He indicated that sleep deprivation makes children irritable and easily frustrated, with emotions that fluctuate up and down.

“Children become irritable and are unable to concentrate in class due to lack of sleep. It is also a trigger for epilepsy,” psychologist added.

Mr Aboakye who is also the Public Relations Officer of Accra Psychiatrist hospital observed that children who accumulate sleep are more likely to have a negative self-image than those who are well rested.

“Sleeplessness in school is a major problem for many children and teens alike. With the inability to focus, children are unable to perform optimally, academically. It’s a fact that students who regularly get more sleep also earn higher grades than students who do not sleep well,” he stressed.

Emmanuel Aboakye called on parents to ensure their children go to bed early to make up for the sleep debt.

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