Seven hours of sleep enough for teens

Diane Alter – AHN News Reporter

Provo, UT, United States (AHN) – There is little argument that a good night’s sleep is important to teens and their performance in school. Many health care experts maintain that teenagers need at least nine hours of slumber a night for optimal performance. But a new study shows that teens score best on tests when they sleep just seven hours a night.

Researchers from Brigham Young University acknowledge that their findings clash with federal guidelines, which tell teenagers to sleep as long as they feel the need to, but they say they have data as proof.

For the study, data was gathered on 1,724 primary and secondary pupils across the United States, making the study a nationally representative sample of schoolchildren.

The researchers found that how much students slept had an impact on standardized academic test scores. And, as far as sleep is concerned, more does not necessarily mean better.

The study authors noted that the amount of sleep school children require drops with age.

The findings, published in The Eastern Economics Journal, found that seven hours of sleep a night is the ideal for 16- to 18-year-olds.

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