New Research Shows Lack of Sleep Associated with Teen Substance Use & Other Health Risks

New Research Shows Lack of Sleep Associated with Teen Substance Use & Other Health Risks

A new study published in JAMA Pediatrics and reported Science Daily examined risk-taking behaviors and sleep duration by high school students over eight years. 

Researchers reported that students who slept less than six hours at night, compared to those sleeping eight hours, were twice as likely to use alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other drugs, and drive after drinking alcohol. 

They were also four times as likely to attempt suicide, and nearly twice as likely to carry a weapon or be in a fight. 

Only 30 percent of the students in the study reported averaging more than eight hours of sleep during school nights. 

These results suggest that prevention specialists should address the connections between lack of sleep and increased risk for substance use, drinking-driving and mental health problems including suicide in prevention programs. 

Efforts by prevention professionals to increase sleep duration among vulnerable young people could result in reducing the incidence of substance use and problems among adolescents and young adults. 

Evidence-based programs that integrate substance use prevention with sleep and other healthy behavior promotion, such as the single-session SPORT and InShape Prevention Plus Wellness interventions, could be readily added along with existing prevention strategies to enhance and broaden youth prevention and health outcomes by prevention organizations and coalitions.  

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Please like and share this new research with others in your region and state.  Thank you!

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