Lack of Sleep Increases Risk of Failure in School Among Teens

Science World Report

First Posted: Sep 24, 2014
Lack of Sleep Increases Risk of Failure in School Among Teens

Lack of Sleep Increases Risk of Failure in School Among Teens (Photo : Reuters)

A new Swedish study links lack of sleep among adolescents to an increased risk of failure in school.

For adolescents, adequate sleep is crucial for proper growth. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that teens need a little more than nine hours of sleep each night. Previous researches have highlighted how lack of sufficient sleep puts teens at the risk of cognitive and emotional difficulties, disciplinary problems, negative moods and lack of attention at school.

The latest study, led by researchers at Uppsala Universitet, highlights other problems linked with lack of sleep. They reveal that adolescents who suffer from sleep disturbance or habitual short sleep duration are unlikely to progress academically as compared to those who receive sufficient sleep.

The finding is based on the evaluation of more than 20,000 adolescents, aged between 12-19 years, from Uppsala County. They noticed that risk of failure in school increased if the adolescents slept for less than 7 hours per day. .

“Another important finding of our study is that around 30 percent of the adolescents reported regular sleep problems. Similar observations have been made in other adolescent cohorts, indicating that sleep problems among adolescents have reached an epidemic level in our modern societies,” said Christian Benedict, lead researcher of the study.

Recently, a study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh found that increasing the amount of sleephelps teens improve insulin resistance and prevent the future onset of diabetes.

The study was documented in the Journal Sleep Medicine. It was supported by the Swedish Brain Foundation and Novo Nordisk Foundation.

“Attention Problems May Be Sleep-Related”

 A New York Times Article


April 16, 2012

Getty Images

Diagnoses of attention hyperactivity disorder among children have increased dramatically in recent years, rising 22 percent from 2003 to 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But many experts believe that this may not be the epidemic it appears to be.

Many children are given a diagnosis of A.D.H.D., researchers say, when in fact they have another problem: a sleep disorder, like sleep apnea. The confusion may account for a significant number of A.D.H.D. cases in children, and the drugs used to treat them may only be exacerbating the problem.

“No one is saying A.D.H.D. does not exist, but there’s a strong feeling now that we need to rule out sleep issues first,” said Dr. Merrill Wise, a pediatric neurologist and sleep medicine specialist at the Methodist Healthcare Sleep Disorders Center in Memphis.

The symptoms of sleep deprivation in children resemble those of A.D.H.D. While adults experience sleep deprivation as drowsiness and sluggishness, sleepless children often become wired, moody and obstinate; they may have trouble focusing, sitting still and getting along with peers.

The latest study suggesting a link between inadequate sleep and A.D.H.D. symptoms appeared last month in the journal Pediatrics. Researchers followed 11,000 British children for six years, starting when they were 6 months old. The children whose sleep was affected by breathing problems like snoring, mouth breathing or apnea were 40 percent to 100 percent more likely than normal breathers to develop behavioral problems resembling A.D.H.D.

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