Sleep Deprivation Takes Toll On Teens

More than a third of high school students say they’ve been plagued by feelings of depression or hopelessness, and one in five say they’ve contemplated taking their own life.

Even more alarmingly, this generation of teens is the most sleep-deprived in human history.

Most children and adults (70%) get enough sleep, but only 15 percent of high school students do by the time they are in their final year.

It is estimated that one in five high school students sleeps less than six hours per night, while the average is six and a half hours per night.

Adolescents appear to be in a constant condition of sleep deprivation.

Scientific journals are brimming with studies linking sleep deprivation to mental health issues. Depression is more common in teens who sleep less than eight hours a night. One study indicated that underslept youths who slept six to seven hours a night were 17 percent more likely to contemplate self-harm than those who slept eight; and those who slept five hours a night were 81 percent more likely to contemplate self-harm.

In fact, sleep deprivation is linked to nearly every mental health condition. There has been evidence that sleep deprivation increases the activity of the brain’s reactive and negative emotional centers while decreasing the activity of the prefrontal cortex.

Read more on the Washington Post

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