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STUDY LINKS TEEN ACADEMIC AND BEHAVIOR
PROBLEMS TO LACK OF SLEEP

By Ralph Derickson

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Danner said the average sleep time for teenagers during a normal week drops from 8.4 to 7.3 hours per night after seventh grade.  Students who get roughly six hours of sleep or less a night get lower grades and are more likely to suffer depression and anxiety.

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June 29, 2000 – (Lexington, Ky.) – High school students are not getting enough sleep and those getting the least are more likely to have academic, health and behavior problems, according to research by a University of Kentucky College of Education professor.

Fred Danner, professor and chair of the educational and counseling psychology department at the University of Kentucky College of Education, presented his research last week at the annual conference of the Association of Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

He also presented his findings at the APSS conference based on analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Sleep, a major data-gathering project sponsored by the federal government concerned with the health habits of 7th-12th grade students.

Danner said the average sleep time for teenagers during a normal week drops from 8.4 to 7.3 hours per night after seventh grade.  Overall, girls get less sleep than boys, a statistic that holds true from grade five through twelve.  Students who get roughly six hours of sleep or less a night, get lower grades and are more likely to suffer depression and anxiety.  Lack of sleep is also linked with behavior problems with teens.

“My work simply adds to the mounting evidence that adolescents in this country do not get enough sleep to function well during the day," Danner said.


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