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Kendra Cherry

Teens Are Not Getting Enough Sleep, New Survey Suggests

By February 1, 2010

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We all know how important sleep is, so why is it that so many people don't get enough? The National Sleep Foundation reports than approximately 50 million American adults suffer from chronic sleep problems. while there are many great reasons to get a good night's sleep, many people simply don't place a high priority on sleep. The National Sleep Foundation report also found that nearly 63% of respondents simply accept sleep deprivation as a part of their life, while 32% turn to caffeinated drinks to combat daytime sleepiness.

sleep
New study finds that many teens are not getting enough sleep.Image courtesy Nur Cengiz

A new survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked more than 12,000 U.S. high school students how much sleep they were getting each night. Past research suggests that teenagers need to get at least nine hours of sleep each night. Of the 12,000 students surveyed, only 900 reported getting the recommended amount and another 2,8000 indicated that they got an average of eight hours of sleep each night.

The CDC suggests that sleeplessness can have a number of negative consequences on teen health and well-being, ranging from lowered judgment to decreased immunity.

According to the report:

  • Thirty percent of the students slept for approximately seven hours each night
  • Nearly twenty-three percent of students slept for six hours each night
  • Ten percent slept less than five hours
  • Almost six percent of students reported getting four or less hours of sleep each night.

So why do so many U.S. students not get the sleep they need? Unfortunately, the CDC study does not identify the underlying causes of this sleeplessness. Science News for Kids reports that some research suggests that computer screens might be linked with sleep problems. Researchers have found that the blue light emitted by computer screens can actually interfere with the body's natural cirdadian rhythms.

If you are struggling to get enough sleep, there are a number of different strategies you can use to help ensure a good night's rest. About.com's Guide to Sleep Disorders, Brandon Peters, offers several great tips such as going to bed at the same time every night and avoiding caffeine and alcohol at least four to six hours before you go to bed. Find more great ideas in his article on 10 ways to get a better night's sleep.

Read more: Sleep By the Numbers - Science News for Kids

Comments

January 27, 2013 at 9:34 pm
(1) komal says:

i sleep 6 hours to 8 hours and im 13. mostly 7 hours…

February 27, 2013 at 8:11 am
(2) Ashley says:

I tend to get 8 hours of sleep during the week, and about 12 hours or more on the weekend.

March 18, 2013 at 4:53 pm
(3) Nok says:

6 and 7 hours are enough for some people. I do not drink coffee, alcohol, and I don’t smoke. I’m a very calm person and I sleep like a rock. My physical level of activity is very low. I never use an alarm clock. The conditions are ideal, no noises of any kind. I wake up at exactly 7 hours. My father wakes up at exactly 6 hours for about 5 decades now and he is in excellent shape and health at 83. I don’t think anyone’s body wouldn’t get the amount of sleep that it NEEDS when given the chance, therefore, it depends on the person. My girlfriend sleeps for about 9 hours at exactly the same sleeping environment. Women probably need an extra hour or two and physical activity can required 2, even 3 extra hours. I used to workout and I did wake up naturally at 9 hours. We don’t all need the same hours.

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