Teens Without Enough Sleep Aren’t Just Struggling—They’re Failing

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We know teens need their sleep. It gives them energy, improves their moods, and helps ward off health issues like heart disease or obesity. But according to a recent study published in the scientific journal Sleep Medicine, sleep can make a difference in the classroom as well.

The study, conducted by Department of Neuroscience researchers from Uppsala Universitet in Uppsala County, Sweden, sampled data from over 20,000 students between the ages of 12 and 19. The study found that if students experienced “inadequate sleep” (categorized as frequent sleep disturbance or habitual short sleep duration – “short” being fewer than 7 hours per night), then they suffered an increased risk of failure in an academic setting.

Christian Benedict, lead researcher of the study, states that the results imply that sleep plays an important role in students’ academic performance. This seems clear from previous research, but the shocking part of this study is just how many students are affected by lack of adequate sleep.

"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," says Benedict.

We completely agree – lack of sleep in teens has certainly reached its breaking point. But fortunately, many students are standing up and asking schools for the sleep they need. One teen, Jilly Dos Santos, was able to push back her school’s start time, and start a teen sleep revolution. Check out her inspiring story here.



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