The new study revealed that teens who reported having trouble sleeping at least once a week were found to be more likely to consume alcohol, drugs and engage in risky sexual endeavors.
The researchers found that the teenagers who did not get sufficient sleep at night had a 33% higher risk of engaging in dangerous behaviors.
Maria Wong, from the Idaho State University and the author of the scientific study, explained that the national statistics show that approximately 27% of pre-teens and 45% of teenagers do not get as much sleep as they should.
Other reports revealed that one in ten adolescents encounter difficulties in falling asleep or staying asleep almost on a daily basis.
The new study showing that lack of sufficient sleep in teens leads to risky behavior was based on data gathered from 6,504 teenagers between 1994 and 2002.
Wong gave details about the study saying that teenagers who had sleep-related problems were more prone to have interpersonal issues related to alcohol, including binge drinking, driving under alcohol influence, sexual relations after consuming too much alcohol which they later regretted and drug consumption.
Wong explained that driving after consuming alcohol, having unprotected sexual relations and binge drinking are some of the most serious side effects of lack of sleep, according to the new study.
On the other hand, the teenagers who get extra sleep are more likely to avoid dangerous behaviors like reckless drinking.
Professor Wong said that most people don’t realize how important sleep is for avoiding later problems in life, especially for young people. She explained that parents need to talk to their children not only about their grades and extracurricular activities, but also about the importance of sufficient sleep.
She advises the teenagers who have problems falling asleep or staying asleep to get professional help.
Teenagers who have troubles sleeping need to avoid spending too much time in front of electronic devices before sleeping hours, as it has been proved that this can cause sleep deprivation.
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