Teens and Sleep Deprivation Equals Risky Behavior
A survey released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that sleep deprivation may significantly increase the likelihood that teens will engage in risky - and potentially dangerous - behaviors. According to the survey, teens who get less than eight hours of sleep per night are 60 percent more likely to smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol, and an astonishing 86 percent are more likely to seriously consider suicide. Teens who are chronically tired from lack of adequate sleep are also more likely to fight, have sex and use drugs more often than their peers who get more sleep.
Studies have shown over time that children between the ages of 10 and 17 need between eight-and-a-half and nine hours of sleep per night to demonstrate good judgment. Only one-third of children in this age group actually sleep that many hours each night.
Lack of adequate rest may compromise preteens' and teens' abilities to resist peer pressure or to accurately assess the possible consequences of their actions.
The study was reported in March 2011 in the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. For more information on this study and on sleep issues for teens and all ages, visit the CDC's website at www.cdc.gov.