A new study monitoring sleep in teenagers has found that a
lack of it can directly increase risky behavior.
The study states that sleep doesn't just lead to better
health, it leads to better judgement as well. Researchers discovered this from
an analysis of survey data taken from more than 6,500 adolescents.
This survey occurred in three waves across the U.S. from
1994 to 2002. Initially, it was found that poor sleep was linked to higher
rates of drug and alcohol abuse.
"Teenagers who had trouble going to sleep on a regular basis
were 33% more likely to engage in harmful behaviors than those who did not, and
a teenager who slept fewer hours would commonly experience issues related to
alcohol or drug abuse," states the study published in the journal Alcoholism:
Clinical & Experimental Research.
In contrast, the study showed, teens who slept well did not experience this
behavior nearly as much.
"It seems that each additional hour of sleep offered some level of
protection in the odds of the adolescent engaging in behavior such as binge
drinking. This shows that a lack of sleep can be a large indicator of later
problems," the researchers explained.