A teen sleep study, titled “The Great Sleep Recession: Changes in Sleep Duration Among US Adolescents, 1991–2012”, was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics and produced some interesting findings about teen sleep patterns. The study asked nearly 300,000 teens if they regularly got at least seven hours of sleep per night or “enough” sleep. The main finding: U.S. teens are getting less and less sleep – many not even snoozing for seven hours. The results were revealed in February 2015.
Here are the highlights:
- Sleep duration per night declined in all teens of all ages during the past two decades.
- More than half of the 15- to 19-year olds surveyed in 2012 said they didn’t even get seven hours of sleep each night.
- More than half of teens 15 and older would need to sleep an additional two hours or more each night to meet recommendations for adequate rest.
- The biggest decline in sleep was seen in 15-year-olds, with more than half reporting they slept at least seven hours per night in 1991, compared to less than 43 percent in 2012. To add to that, about 30 percent of 15-year-olds reported getting what they considered to be “enough” sleep in 1991, compared to 24 percent in 2012.
- Reports were slightly better for younger teens and slightly worse for older teens.
What could be the cause of this rapid decline in rest? While a concrete answer has yet to be determined, social media, smartphones, electronics and earlier school start times could all be factors.
Teens that don’t get enough sleep are at risk for mood problems, depression, memory or learning difficulties, and poor grades. Sleep deprivation is also a concern, as it’s been linked to the rising rate of obesity.
The National Sleep Foundation provides recommendations for sleep duration. Check them out to see where you and your family fall in terms of adequate sleep.