Kids are failing to get the right amount of sleep they need and haven't done so for centuries, research from the University of South Australia shows.

One of the main reasons children aren't getting the recommended amount of shut-eye in the present day is because of the prominence of technology, the team discovered.

With computer games, mobile phones and TV sets to play with, it is perhaps unsurprising that youngsters would rather stay up all night rather than get some sleep.

The experts found that over the past 100 years, study authors have proposed sleep recommendations for kids, although they are largely never adhered to.

Of the 360 pieces of advice issued over the past few decades, children were falling short 83 per cent of the time and doing so by an average of 37 minutes.

The South Australian researchers found that the actual amount of nightly sleep for youngsters annually declined by an average of 0.73 minutes.

Lisa Anne Matricciani and her colleagues pointed out that there is a common belief that youngsters are not getting the amount of sleep they need.

"No matter how much sleep children are getting, it has always been assumed that they need more," commented the experts.

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Experts usually recommend that children have a strict bedtime routine to ensure they are ready to go to sleep, which may include giving them a warm bath or a milky drink.

Bedtime reading is also a good idea as it does not stimulate them as much as watching TV.

Various studies have shown that light emitted from TV screens and other sources can disrupt the body clock and therefore influence the sleep-wake cycle.

The National Sleep Foundation shows that exposure to light stimulates nerves between the eye and the brain, which performs functions such as body temperature and the release of stimulating hormones.

It is also responsible for delaying the release of melatonin that is responsible for the onset of sleep.