Teens Who Skimp On Sleep Now Have More Drinking Problems Later
Sleep-deprived teenagers find it difficult to focus in class, and they're more likely get sick. They are also more likely to develop problems with alcohol later on, according to a study published Friday in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. The study included teens who suffered from conditions like insomnia as well as those who simply weren't getting enough sleep. Teenagers ages 14 through 16 who had trouble falling or staying asleep were 47 percent more likely to binge drink than their well-rested peers. Of course, teens don't usually take well to having bedtimes imposed on them. And even if they did, forcing kids to get in bed early won't necessarily help, says Dr. Maida Chen, the director of the Pediatric Sleep Disorders Center at Seattle Children's. "Because of their biology, simply saying to teens, 'Go to sleep earlier' is not a plausible solution," says Chen, who wasn't involved in the recent research.
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