“Exhausted” schoolchildren are surviving on just two hours of sleep because of their mobile phone addiction, according to new research.

The study by Leeds Beckett University examined the mobile phone use of 594 students aged 11-18 across the country, and found that most regularly check their phones during family meals, while doing homework and during school lessons.

A total of 96 per cent said they check their phones every two minutes, while 85 per cent spend between four and six hours a day online.

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Meanwhile, two-thirds said they are getting between two and four hours of sleep a night because of their "addiction" to mobile phones.

Professor Jonathan Glazzard, of the university’s Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools, said adolescents were “desperate to network” and keep up to date with their online peers.

He said: “This results in broken sleep and tiredness during the school day.

“Adolescents need approximately eight-to-10 hours' sleep, but our research demonstrates that some get as little as two hours of sleep.

“These students attend school in a state of exhaustion. They are too tired to concentrate, and it affects their learning and behaviour.

“Disengagement in lessons results in them falling behind in their schoolwork and they then develop other problems, such as low confidence and low self-worth."

The pupil survey includes the following findings:

  • 92 per cent regularly check their phones during the night.
  • 67 per cent get between 2 and 4 hours' sleep due to checking their phones.
  • 85 per cent regularly check their phones during family meals.
  • 97 per cent regularly check their phones while doing their homework.
  • 70 per cent discretely check their phones during lesson time.
  • 98 per cent would find it difficult to cope if they had their phone confiscated.