One-third of teens report falling asleep in school—twice a day. In the Drexel University study, researchers found that one-third of teens polled reported falling asleep in school at least twice each day. Several students even confessed to falling asleep at the wheel while driving. Source: U.S. News & World Report.

Technology and caffeine are keeping teens awake.  Just one in five teens is getting the recommended eight hours of sleep each night. The rest may be texting the night away with the help of highly-caffeinated energy drinks, according to research. "We found that as these adolescents multitask into the night, they also caffeinate, and it affects their sleep dramatically," said Christina Calamaro, the Drexel University’s study lead author. While sleep duration decreased, the amount of technology in adolescents' bedrooms increased. Almost all teens have at least one electronic device in their room -- TV, cell phone, computer, telephone or music device. The average sixth-grader has two of these devices in the bedroom, according to the study. By 12th grade, there are often four electronic devices in the bedroom. Source: U.S. News & World Report.

Poor sleep is linked to high blood pressure in teens. A study found that teens who don't get enough sleep or have poor-quality sleep run the risk of elevated blood pressure. The study conducted by the University Hospitals Sleep Center at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland determined that 11 percent of teens studied slept less than 6.5 hours a night, and 26 percent had poor "sleep efficiency," with frequent awakenings at night. One of every seven teens in the study had either hypertension, or borderline high blood pressure called pre-hypertension. Teens with less than 85 percent sleep efficiency had nearly three times the odds of high blood pressure. Source: U.S. News & World Report 

Teens with later bedtimes are more likely to become depressed. Research presented at a national sleep conference indicated that middle- and high-schoolers whose parents don't require them to be in bed before midnight on school nights are 42% more likely to be depressed than teens whose parents require a 10 p.m. or earlier bedtime. And teens who are allowed to stay up late are 30% more likely to have had suicidal thoughts in the past year. Source: USA Today.

*Source: Ada Evening News (Oklahoma); 7/31/09


Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for Azusa Pacific University's Center for Youth and Family. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, most recently serving as Senior Editor of Publications for HomeWord. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, trainer, instructor and speaker. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com.