Fight diabetes by letting our kids sleep more

There is increasing evidence that sleep deprivation can lead to many chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

To arrest the increase in the number of diabetes cases in Singapore, we need to work on the sleep aspect too.

Our Government needs to do more to promote more sleep in both children and adults in Singapore.

Students in Singapore are not getting the recommended amount of sleep for their age.

Those who take school buses often have to wake up before 6am to get ready. Many students have homework to complete late into the night, or attend tuition all the way until 9pm.

Parents, too, have to wake up early to take their children to school, and go to bed late due to work commitments.

Our sleep habits are developed from a young age - if children "get used to" having few hours of sleep, they will continue this sleep habit into their adulthood, thereby increasing their chances of developing chronic diseases later in life.

For the sake of our children and for the future of Singapore, I hope our Government will seriously look into changing schools' start times.

We cannot leave it to individual schools to decide, much less school bus operators, who are constrained by logistics.

Let us develop a concerted effort to fight diabetes.

Lai Wai Mun (Ms)