Insufficient sleep in adolescents can lead to inattentiveness, poor academic performance, increased risk of obesity, mood disturbances with increased suicidal ideation, and sports-related injuries

In August 2017 researchers from the USA published their review on inadequate sleep in the adolescent population. Causes of inadequate sleep, which is at epidemic levels in this population, include biological processes such as the normal shift (delay) in circadian rhythm that occurs in association with puberty, as well as extracurricular activities, excessive homework load, evening use of social media, caffeine intake and early school start times. Inadequate sleep can lead to inattentiveness, a general reduction in daily functioning, poor academic performance, an increased risk of obesity and cardio-metabolic dysfunction, mood disturbances and increased suicidal ideation, a higher risk of engaging in behaviours such as intake of alcohol and substance use, and increased rates of car crashes, occupational injuries and sports-related injuries. The researchers stated that in response to these concerns, a number of promising measures had been proposed to reduce inadequate sleep in adolescents, including healthy sleep education for students and families, and later school start times to allow adolescents to obtain sufficient and appropriately-timed sleep.

Owens JA, Weiss MR. Insufficient sleep in adolescents: causes and consequences. Minerva Pediatr. 2017 Aug;69(4):326-336

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