The Scary Side Effects of Not Getting Enough Sleep

Shutterstock Shutterstock

When teens stay up staring at their phone screens instead of snoozing, it can actually be bad for their health. A new study says that teenagers who aren't getting enough sleep may be at risk for health problems later in life. According to research, it increases inflammation throughout the body, which can cause heart disease or diabetes.

This study involved analyzing the levels of C-reactive protein (or CRP) levels in teens' bodies. Higher levels of CRP are associated with poor health, and less sleep is a factor in such an increase. Researchers had high school students wear wrist monitors to see how long they slept. Then, they assessed their CRP levels.

Fox News explains the findings:

Teens who slept the least during the week were most likely to be in the high-risk group. Additionally, those who slept at least two hours longer on the weekends were more than twice as likely to be in the high-risk group, compared to those who had more consistent sleep times throughout the week.

The study also found that teens got more sleep on weekends, versus weeknights. Either way, the good thing is it's a problem that can be fixed! If teens focus on getting more sleep, they can improve their future health.

To learn more about teens and sleep, check out "The Teen Who Woke Up Her School" from a past issue of Choices — Scholastic's magazine for middle and high school students.