A new study has exposed about a worrying trend developing among the American teenagers. The researchers have found that the US teens are increasingly involving in the habit of sleeping for lesser hours than they actually need.
The study, conducted by the researchers at Columbia, showed that the racial or ethnic minorities, female students, and the students belonging to lower socio-economic group are particularly affected.
Study lead author Katherine W. Keyes said, “Declines in self-reported adolescent sleep across the last 20 years are concerning and suggest that there is potentially a significant public health concern that warrants health education and literacy approaches.”
The health experts warn against inadequate sleep, saying it is closely associated with a wide range of health issues including academic problems, mental health weight gain and substance abuse.
A national survey of over 270,000 students in the 8th, 10th and 12th grades, occurred between 1991 and 2012, reported how often they are facing sleeping issues and getting seven or more hours of sleep.
The largest drop in the percentage getting seven hours of sleep a night was among the 15-year-olds. In 1991, 72 percent in this group reported regularly receiving more than seven hours of sleep per night.
But by 2012, 63 percent of the participants in the same age group reported regularly getting seven or more hours of sleep a night.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends nine hours of sleep every night.
“Although the underlying reasons for the decrease in hours of sleep are unknown, there has been speculation that rising dependence on gadgets, longer hours of duration invested in using internet or social media and even the heightened competitiveness among the students are contributing to the sleep problem,” Keyes said.
The findings of the study were published online in the journal Paediatrics.