According to research released at the annual meeting of the America Psychiatric Association in Honolulu, researchers stated that only 10% of teenagers get the recommended amount of 9 hours of sleep per night.
The study examined the sleep habits of 16,000 teens. There was a negative effect on the amount of sleep from playing video games and spending time on the internet, but the old scapegoat known as television didn’t show any negative effect on sleeping habits.
Low amounts of sleep in teenagers have negative effects like poor concentration, low energy, impulse acting, moodiness, and increased suicidal thoughts.
However, there is a scientific reason behind the lack of sleep teens get at night. As teenagers get older, the brain chemical melatonin that makes a person feel sleepy is released later and later in the evening, affecting their natural sleep cycle. “But unfortunately the rest of society is not on that schedule and school is still going to start at 8:00 a. m.”, said Caris Fitzgerald of the University of Arkansas.
Fitzgerald also pointed to other factors that affect teenagers and their sleeping habits. These included texting in the middle of the night, a desire for independence from their parents, and pressure from both their parents and their peers about their bedtimes.