Home Health News Lack of Sleep May Increase Likelihood of Teens Engaging in Risky Behaviors

Lack of Sleep May Increase Likelihood of Teens Engaging in Risky Behaviors

9 min read

For Release

June 3, 2019

A model of the next information launch was revealed on June 3 by the American Psychological Association.

Teenagers who do not get sufficient sleep could also be at an elevated danger of partaking in unsafe sexual behaviors, equivalent to not utilizing condoms or having intercourse underneath the affect of alcohol or medication, in keeping with new RAND Corporation analysis revealed by the American Psychological Association.

“Teens by and large are not getting the recommended eight to 10 hours of sleep a night, due to a number of reasons, including biological changes in circadian rhythms, early school start times, balancing school and extracurricular activities and peer social pressures,” stated Wendy M. Troxel, a senior behavioral and social scientist and lead writer of the research revealed in the journal Health Psychology. “Insufficient sleep may increase the potential for sexual risk-taking by compromising decision-making and influencing impulsivity.”

Troxel and her co-authors, all from RAND, a nonprofit, nonpartisan analysis establishment, analyzed information from a big, longitudinal research of 1,850 racially and ethnically numerous adolescents and younger adults in Southern California. The information had been collected 4 occasions between 2013 and 2017. Participants had been, on common, 16 years previous in 2013 and 19 years previous in 2017.

The teenagers reported their sleep schedules on weekdays and weekends and whether or not they had bother sleeping in the 4 weeks previous to filling out the survey. The individuals additionally reported whether or not they used alcohol, marijuana or different medication proper earlier than or throughout sexual exercise and whether or not they used condoms.

The teenagers had been grouped primarily based on their sleep patterns over the four-year interval, together with weekday sleep period, weekend sleep period, variations in sleep patterns between weekdays and weekends and sleep high quality.

As for the weekends, most teenagers in the research had been intermediate weekend sleepers, clocking in simply over 9 hours, whereas lengthy weekend sleepers netted a median of 10.6 hours and quick weekend sleepers acquired a median of 7.8 hours, stated Troxel.

Previous analysis has proven that irregular sleep patterns (e.g., sleeping in on weekends) can put teenagers in danger for unfavourable health outcomes. Therefore, Troxel and her colleagues anticipated that teenagers who slept in on the weekends to make up for misplaced sleep throughout the week would present better sexual risk-taking than those that had a extra constant sleeping routine.

Contrary to what they predicted, the researchers discovered that adolescents who had been quick weekday and quick weekend sleepers (i.e., those that persistently didn’t get sufficient sleep) had been practically two occasions extra more likely to interact in unsafe intercourse than those that slept in, on common, an additional 3.5 hours on weekends.

“Teens who were short weekday and short weekend sleepers were not getting adequate sleep during the school week and were not catching up on sleep on the weekends, and thus were chronically sleep-deprived,” stated Troxel.

The researchers didn’t discover that sleep high quality had any impact on dangerous sexual conduct.

While this research couldn’t make a direct link between sleep high quality and sexual behaviors, it provides to a rising physique of analysis concerning the potential function of sleep disturbances and adolescent risk-taking behaviors, Troxel stated.

“Sexual risk-taking in adolescence poses serious health concerns, such as an increased potential of getting sexually transmitted infections, including HIV,” she stated.

Troxel acknowledged that the findings pose a major problem for fogeys, clinicians and policymakers.

“On one hand, we should encourage sleep routines for teens because regularity is important for maintaining healthy sleep and circadian rhythms,” she stated. “However, for most U.S. teens, whose weekday sleep opportunities are constrained due to early school start times, maintaining consistency in sleep-wake schedules throughout the week may not only be unrealistic, but also may be unhealthy, if it perpetuates a pattern of chronic sleep deprivation.”

Troxel steered doable methods that will assist teenagers get the sleep their our bodies want.

“Our recommendation is for parents and teens to find a middle ground, which allows for some weekend catch-up sleep, while maintaining some level of consistency in sleep-wake patterns,” she stated. “We also need to encourage school districts to consider delaying school start times because this could make a substantial difference in helping teens get adequate sleep.”

Grants from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism funded the research.

The research’s different co-authors are Anthony Rodriguez, Rachana Seelam, Joan S. Tucker, Regina A. Shih, and Elizabeth J. D’Amico. RAND Social and Economic Well-Being is a division of RAND that seeks to actively enhance the health and social and financial well-being of populations and communities all through the world.

The full article, “Associations of Longitudinal Sleep Trajectories With Risky Sexual Behavior During Late Adolescence (PDF),” is on the market at apa.org.

About the RAND Corporation

The RAND Corporation is a analysis group that develops options to public coverage challenges to assist make communities all through the world safer and safer, more healthy and extra affluent.

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