Risky business: Teens and the correct amount of sleep

Risky business: Teens and the correct amount of sleep

Link found between teens with risky behavior and the correct amount of sleep.

In a somewhat confusing new study just released, there seems to be an association between teens engaging in more risky behavior it they aren’t getting enough sleep, but also if they are getting too much sleep.

And to make it even harder to understand, scientists say they aren’t even sure of the amount of sleep is to blame, or if the issue could be caused by other problems, such as depression, according to an article on Fox News.

Still, the study’s lead author Anne Wheaton of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said the link between sleep and injury-causing risks is striking.

“I thought that was really, really surprising and just really worrying,” continued Wheaton.

The study found that students that were only getting five to six hours of sleep each night were twice as likely to report they had driven while drinking in the previous month, but the same was true for those who reported sleeping for 10 hours or more per night.  Earlier research has shown a link between lack of sleep and being injured in a car crash, sports activities, or in a workplace accident.

The data from the study was taken from anonymous surveys, completed by over 50,000 high school students across the country in 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013.  Almost 69 of every 100 respondents said they got too little sleep, at least according to the guidelines established at seven hours of sleep per school night.  Much less common were those reporting too much sleep, 10 hours or more, only about two of every 100.

Other risky behavior was defined as not properly wearing seat belts, texting while driving, and riding with a driver that had been drinking, as well as not wearing a helmet while biking.

The CDC continued by saying the they recommend from seven to nine hours of sleep per night for adults also, and pointed out that research has shown at least one third of all American adults get less than the recommended amount.

Experts say you should stick to a regular bedtime schedule, and avoid stimulants at night, including TV, video and cell phones close to bedtime.

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