Children who don't get adequate sleep at night or suffer from sleep disturbance are more likely to fail in school, a new study finds.

The study was conducted by researchers from Uppsala Universitet. The researchers found that adolescents who suffer from sleep disturbance or habitual short sleep duration are less likely to succeed academically compared to those who enjoy a good night's sleep.

The study included  20,000 adolescents aged between 12 and 19 from Uppsala County. Inadequate sleep was termed as getting less than 7 hours of sleep a day. Researchers noted that their findings suggested that sleep plays an important role in a child and adolescent's academic performance.

"Another important finding of our study is that around 30 percent of the adolescents reported regular sleep problems. Similar observations have been made in other adolescent cohorts, indicating that sleep problems among adolescents have reached an epidemic level in our modern societies," said Christian Benedict, author of the study, in a press statement.

Another recent study also found that getting less than six hours of sleep per night for more than a few days "switches off" hundreds of genes that consequently leads to severe cases of heart diseases and obesity. These genes play a key role in the body's constant process of self-repair and replenishment.

The body depends on these genes for a continuous supply of proteins that help replenish and repair tissues in the body. However, lack of sleep for a few days could make these genes stop working. The findings of this study also suggest that lack of sleep also prevents the body from fully replenishing itself and raises the risk of a host of diseases.

The study was supported by the Swedish Brain Foundation (Hjärnfonden) and Novo Nordisk Foundation. Findings were published online in the journal Sleep Medicine.