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Less sleep associated with risky behavior in teens, study says

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“Fewer hours of sleep on an average school night [is] associated with increased odds of all selected unsafe behaviors,” the authors wrote, together with risk-taking whereas driving, resembling drunken driving, probably unsafe sexual exercise, aggressive behavior and use of alcohol, tobacco and different medication.

Participants’ sleep length was categorized as eight hours or extra, seven hours, six hours or lower than six hours after which measured in opposition to high-risk behaviors, in the study published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

The staff discovered the strongest associations in relation to temper and self-harm. Teens who slept for lower than six hours per evening had been 3 times extra more likely to report contemplating suicide, planning a suicide try or making an attempt suicide, in contrast with teenagers who slept eight hours or extra. They had been additionally 4 occasions extra more likely to have reported a suicide try that resulted in them needing remedy.

The researchers used information from from February 2007 to May 2015 from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a US-based survey exploring behaviors associated to health dangers in youth, and located that greater than 70% of highschool college students had been getting lower than the recommended eight hours of sleep per evening.
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“Prior reports have documented that high school students who slept less than eight hours were at increased risk of adverse self-behaviors,” mentioned Matthew Weaver, teacher in drugs at Harvard Medical School and affiliate epidemiologist in the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who led the study. “Our study adds to this literature by using a larger updated data set over a longer study interval and by incorporating more granular sleep information and looking at a wider array of risk taking behaviors.”
The pattern dimension and categorization of sleep length had been helpful to the study, in accordance with Reut Gruber, director of the Attention, Behavior and Sleep Laboratory on the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and affiliate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University. Gruber was not concerned in the study.

“I think it reinforces what we believe is the case,” Gruber mentioned, “I’m not sure each one of the findings is completely a surprise or new, but it does certainly validate what we think. Sometimes, the challenge with other studies, they might be much smaller, or the sample might not be selected properly, might be biased, so I think the methodology in terms of the sampling and sample size is a real strength.”

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Weaver and Gruber each notice the constraints of the study embody the truth that the info are self-reported by contributors and that the analysis doesn’t present a causal relationship between sleep and better threat behaviors.

Gruber advises dad and mom to remain on high of their kid’s sleep schedule, as youngsters should not at all times capable of handle their very own sleep and should not know when is the very best time to end up the lights.

“I think my message to parents is that it is a priority. It will make a huge difference in their children’s lives and performance and mood and behavior,” Gruber mentioned. “My experience, my impression, is that it’s something that we still need to prioritize as parents just like what we do with other things we know are unhealthy for kids.”

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