Poor sleep in teenage years tied to risky behavior later

If a teenager has poor sleeping habits, he or she may be more likely to engage in risky alcohol or drug use or sexual behavior later, according to a study published in the journal _Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. _

Researchers from Idaho State University analyzed data about sleep patterns and alcohol and drug use through a nationwide survey of 6,500 adolescents.They found that teenagers who reported trouble going to sleep at least once a week were more likely to binge drink, engage in sexual behaviour that they later regretted when drunk or take illicit drugs in the years to come.

The worse the sleep problem, the stronger the link seemed to be. Those who found it difficult falling sleep almost every day were 33 percent more likely to experience these issues than teenagers who found it easy to go to sleep. .

Researchers found the fewer the hours of sleep adolescents reported on average, the greater the odds they would subsequently experience a host of problems, including relationship issues triggered by alcohol misuse. But an extra hour of sleep seemed to offer some protection - each additional hour was linked to a decrease in the odds of binge drinking.

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Sourced from: BBC News, Poor sleep "early warning sign" for drink and drug issues