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Sleep Tied to Risky Behavior

“A new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics finds an association between sleep duration and personal risk-taking behaviors in high school students.

The new findings add to previous research showing that poor sleep in youth can result in learning difficulties, impaired judgment and risk of adverse health behaviors. According to sleep experts, adolescents require 8-10 hours of sleep at night for optimal health, yet more than 70 percent of high school students get less than that.

“We found the odds of unsafe behavior by high school students increased significantly with fewer hours of sleep,” said lead author Mathew Weaver, Ph.D., research fellow, Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

“Personal risk-taking behaviors are common precursors to accidents and suicides, which are the leading causes of death among teens and have important implications for the health and safety of high school students nationally.”

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