A new study has revealed that teens area getting less sleep than they used to. The study was performed by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health who found that the number of hours a teenage boy or girl sleeps every night has decreased among teen in the U.S. over the past two decades. The results of the study was published in the journal Pediatrics.
Aside from the main discovery, that teens are getting less sleep than they used two 20 years ago, scientists also found that female students, ethnic and racial minorities and students of lower economic and social status, were least likely to be getting 7 or more hours of sleep every night.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, NSF, getting enough sleep each night is vital for humans to be healthy and function properly. Teens should get at least 8-10 hours of sleep every night.
If teens do not get enough sleep, then their reason can become impaired, as well as their abilities to think and they also become prone to pimples and mood swings. Also, lack of sleep in general, is associated with weight gain, substance abuse, academic problems and various other health issues.
For this study, the researchers complied and analyzed data from a nationally representative annual survey of teens in the US (1991-2012), called Monitoring the Future. The survey managed to get information for a total number of 272,077 teenagers.
After careful examination, it was revealed that teens’ sleep gradually declined over the 20 years that were recorded by the survey. In 1992, 72% of 15-year-olds got 7 or more hours of sleep every night and in 2012, when the study ended, that number had fallen to 63%.
Also, racial and ethnic minorities, female students and teens with a lower socioeconomic background were less likely to sleep more than 7 hours every night compared to non-Hispanic white students, male students and teens from a higher socioeconomic background.
For all teens that were observed in this study, the biggest declines in their sleep were reported between 1996-2000 and 1991-1995.
Lack of sleep can compromise the formative years in teens and can affect school performances and their general health.
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