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Study Links Lack of Sleep In Teens To Increased Risky Behavior

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Study Links Lack of Sleep In Teens To Increased Risky Behavior
The less sleep teens get, the more likely they are to engage in risky behavior such as drug use, according to a new study.
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High school students who get less sleep are more likely to engage in risky behavior as well as attempt suicide, according to a new study.

The study's researchers looked at eight years' worth of data from the CDC's Youth Risk Behavior survey.

They found high schoolers who slept on average less than six hours a night were more likely to say they'd drunk alcohol, smoked cigarettes or used drugs than those who slept an average of eight hours or more a night.

The possible link between lack of sleep and suicide also appeared to be strong. According to the study, teens who slept on average less than six hours a night were three times more likely to report they had considered suicide, planned a suicide or attempted suicide.

Researchers admit the study has some limitations, including that it doesn't prove a direct cause-and-effect relationship between lack of sleep and risky behavior and that the information was self-reported, so it may not be reliable.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 should sleep eight hours or more per night on a regular basis.