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Study: 73% of high school students not getting enough sleep :

January 25, 2018

Most adolescents aren’t getting enough sleep, increasing their risk for health and behavioral problems, according to a new study.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s recommendations, which have been endorsed by the Academy, call for children ages 6-12 years to sleep nine to 12 hours each night and teens to sleep eight to 10 hours.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed data from the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Surveys to find out whether adolescents were hitting those targets and published its findings in Thursday’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Researchers found 73% of high school students across 30 states are not getting enough sleep, up from 69% in 2009. Rates of short sleep ranged from 62% in South Dakota to 83% in West Virginia and were highest for females, Asian and black students.

Among middle school students surveyed in nine states, 58% did not meet the sleep recommendations. New Mexico had the fewest short sleepers at 50% compared to 65% in Kentucky. Females, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and black students were most likely to fall short.

“Children and adolescents who do not get the recommended amount of sleep for their age are at increased risk for chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and poor mental health, as well as injuries, attention and behavioral problems, and poor academic performance,” according to the report.

The CDC recommends adolescents maintain a consistent sleep schedule on both weekdays and weekends, sleep in a dark and quiet room, limit the use of electronics before bed and in the bedroom, and avoid caffeine before bed. It also supports the Academy’s recommendations that middle and high schools start classes no earlier than 8:30 a.m. to allow students to get sufficient sleep.

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