Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sleepy Teens at Risk for Smoking, Drinking

Do we have our teens trying to do too many things? Are they over involved? Getting enough sleep, good quality sleep, is vital for everyone from babies to seniors.



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Sleepy Teens at Risk for Smoking, Drinking

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Teenagers who don't sleep well may be more likely to take up bad habits like smoking and drinking.

In a new study out of China, researchers report adolescents who reported getting less than eight hours of sleep per night, frequently experiencing nightmares, and having trouble falling asleep were at higher risk of drinking alcohol.

A higher risk of smoking was associated with those behaviors, as was having a bedtime after midnight, difficulty staying asleep, and the use of hypnotic drugs.

Researchers studied about 1,300 children from five high schools in China. The average age of study participants was 14.

Study author Xianchen Liu, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Pittsburgh, reports more research is needed to confirm these findings, but the results "suggest a potential role of sleep intervention -- that is, education in sleep hygiene and the treatment of sleep disturbances -- in the prevention of adolescent substance use."

Previous studies have suggested sleep affects a wide range of physical, mental and emotional aspects of health, with poor sleep linked to everything from cardiovascular disease and diabetes to depression and obesity.

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SOURCE: Presented at the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Minneapolis, June 9-14, 2007

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