Study: Teens need to catch more ZZZs

More than 70 percent of high school students do not get enough sleep, a new study found.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed the national Youth Risk Behavior Surveys data to determine the prevalence of short-sleep duration on school nights among middle and high school students.

Short-sleep duration is less than nine hours of sleep for children 6 to 12 years old and less than eight hours for teens 13 to 18.

The analysis found that 58 percent of middle school students are not getting at least nine hours of sleep and 73 percent of high-schoolers aren’t getting eight hours or more of sleep.

Most middle-schoolers (30 percent) said they got eight hours of sleep each night. About 20 percent said they slept seven hours each night.

Just 27 percent of middle schools students said they got nine hours or more (17 percent said nine hours; 10 percent get 10 or more hours).

At the high school level, 30 percent of students get seven hours of sleep; 23 percent said they slept for six hours. About 28 percent of high-schoolers said they got at least eight hours or more.

Children and adolescents who do not get the recommended amount of sleep for their age are at increased risk for chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity and poor mental health, as well as injuries, attention and behavioral problems and poor academic performance, according to the CDC.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends children 6 to 12 years old regularly sleep nine to 12 hours and teens 13 to 18 years old sleep eight to 10 hours.

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at or 360-735-4546.

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