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Teens From Low-Income Households Are Not Getting Enough Sleep

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that teens get about 9-10 hours of sleep every night. Many teens do not get enough sleep, which may come as no surprise. But a recent survey did uncover information that may surprise people, showing that low-income teens are particularly vulnerable to a lack of sufficient sleep each night.

Survey results

A research published in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics examined sleep patterns among low-income teenagers age 14-19 and found that most of them only slept about 6 hours a night. Although teenagers in general like to stay up late, minority and other low-income students living in disadvantaged households showed particular vulnerability to lower sleeping hours which researchers believed was related to their socioeconomic status. They also stated in the study that black male teens were the most vulnerable when it came to insufficient sleep.

Why sleep is important

Sleep allows the body to maintain good mental and physical health. It improves brain function, increasing your cognitive skills, or the ability to learn quickly. If you've ever had a restless night or nights and then tried to accomplish something the next day using your brain, such as taking a test, you probably struggled. That's because sleep affects the brain's ability to make decisions, solve problems, and even control behavior.

In addition, lack of sleep can lead to physical problems such as obesity, and can increase the risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.

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