Almost a third of school-aged kids in Canada are sleep-deprived, most of them spending too much time staring at screens. The annual ParticipAction Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth looked at the amount and quality of children’s sleep and found many are not getting enough. The combination of too little exercise and too much screen time, it found, means kids aren’t moving enough to be tired and may be too tired to move. “Because of screens in their bedroom, because of holding their cellphone under their pillow, because they didn’t move very much in that day and frankly are not fatigued, (kids) get a disrupted night’s sleep,” says lead researcher Dr. Mark Tremblay. “(They) wake up somewhat fatigued, withdraw from physical activity a little bit the next day, slouch around more and then of course are not physically tired the next night. They have another bad night’s sleep, and so on.” For the fourth year in a row, the report card handed out a D- for overall physical activity, based on findings that only nine per cent of kids aged five to 17 get the recommended minimum of 60 minutes of “heart-pumping activity” a day. Tremblay says the effects of chronic sleep loss can be devastating, since it is linked to higher rates of depression and suicidal thoughts. Too little sleep can also cause hyperactivity, obesity and difficulty in problem solving.