Is There a Connection Between Missing Sleep and Using Drugs?

teen boy sleeping(The NIDA Blog Team, June 1) You probably know it’s important to get enough sleep. But you may be surprised to learn exactly how important it is.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says teens should get 8 to 10 hours of sleep a day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most teens get less than that.

Researchers are learning more all the time about how getting less sleep can affect teens’ health. In fact, a growing number of studies have shown a possible link between teens missing out on sleep and having a higher risk of using drugs.

Drug-related risks

Researchers also studied data from CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (with nearly 68,000 surveys completed by high school students over a period of 8 years). The data showed that teens who reported getting 6 hours of sleep a night were about three times as likely to start using drugs as teens who got 8 or 9 hours of sleep a night. And the less sleep teens got, the greater that risk became.

Read the rest on NIDA.