According to a new study, teenagers and students are having decreased amount of sleep over the last twenty years.
The research conducted by the University of Michigan states that more than half of kids aged 15 and older would need to sleep at least two hours more each night to meet recommendations for adequate rest, heightening concerns about the impact on their health and academic performance. The research was done under the annual ‘Monitoring the Future’ national surveys of youth behavior.
Katherine Keyes, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, and the lead author of the study, said, “After age 16, the majority is not meeting the recommended guidelines.”
For their study, the researchers looked at sleep data from a national survey of more than 270,000 teens from 1991 to 2012. Each year, teens reported how often they got seven or more hours of sleep, as well as how often they got less sleep than they need.
They found that 15 years olds had the lowest number of sleep at 72% in 1991. That number falls to 63% in 2012. The researchers added that the largest declines in those getting enough sleep occurred between 1991 through 2000. They also added that girls are less likely to get an adequate amount of sleep compared to boys.
The researchers stated that both boys and girls whose parents had less education were not as likely to get enough sleep. They also found that black and Hispanic teens were less likely than others to get enough sleep. Worryingly some teens who weren’t getting enough sleep often thought their sleep duration was fine.
The researchers said that loss of sleep results into obesity, car accidents, depression and a drop in school performance. They have urged parents to educate their teens about not over scheduling, limiting caffeine before bed and having a bedtime routine, just as they did when they were younger.