STATES CHRONICLE – Kids and Teenagers are arguably our biggest resource. Few things matter as much as having a new generation that can take us forward and do right by us and what we stand for. And in this day and age, that’s mostly technological evolution. So our young have to survive and care enough to take our legacy forward.
But with all that’s going on in the world right now, it’s hard not to become a cynic even as a pre-teen, so we do have to be extra careful about our youth. And we’re apparently not doing a very good job of it, as according to the CDC sleep deprived teenagers are big risk-takers. And not in a good way, either.
No, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, not getting enough sleep can lead to teenagers engaging in risky vehicular behaviors, such as drunk driving or not wearing a seat belt. Surprisingly, too much sleep was also associated with similarly risky behaviors, albeit for a different reason.
Seeing as about two thirds of all teen fatalities are caused by traffic accidents, it’s understandable that the issue is so concerning. And the CDC meta-analysis shows exactly how dangerous the habit actually is. But first, let’s talk about how much teens actually sleep and why that might impact their recklessness.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, teenagers aged 14 to 17 should get between eight to ten hours of sleep per night. But most of them actually fall short of that target, with boys about 66.4 percent likely to sleep less, and girls about 71 percent. Meanwhile, Asian minorities are even less likely to sleep less than they need, with some 75.7 percent reporting insufficient sleep.
By looking at the survey results of somewhere around 50,000 teenagers grades nine through twelve between 2007 and 2013, the researchers determined how likely the adolescents were to engage in risky vehicular behaviors. The results aren’t looking too good.
Compared to those teenagers that got enough sleep every night, sleeping for six hours a night had teenagers be 84 percent more likely do drink and drive, 92 percent more likely to not use the seatbelt, and 42 percent more likely to have been in a car whose driver had consumed alcohol. All of these statistics were related to the past thirty days.
While the teenagers that slept for less than the recommended amount engaged in the risky behaviors because a lack of sleep makes you have poor judgment and care less about negative consequences, the researchers believe that the teens that sleep for more than ten hours engage in similar behaviors because of depression.
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