U.S. teens getting less and less sleep
New research has found that teenagers in the U.S. have been getting a decreasing amount of sleep over the past couple of decades.
Scientists at the University of Michigan examined surveys that were conducted between 1991 and 2012 and involved approximately 300,000 teenagers between ages 15 and 19.
The researchers found that more than half of the surveyed teenagers got fewer than seven hours of sleep a night; this was an eye-opener for experts, who recommend teens get nine or 10 hours of sleep.
Researchers also found that the teenagers of all ages got less sleep in 2012 than they did in 1991; more than half of the 15-year-olds, for example, reported getting at least seven hours of sleep a night in 1991. That dropped to less than 43 percent in 2012.
The results of the study, published in Pediatrics, suggest that increasing use of social media, smartphones and other electronics over the past two decades may be associated with teenagers' loss of sleep.
The researchers said teenagers need to better understand the dangers of sleep deprivation, which may include depression, memory problems and learning difficulties.