It's extremely important that children and teens (and adults!) get enough quality sleep.
Sleep deprivation in children, and teens in particular, can lead to a number of health issues and a failure to address sleep issues in childhood can lead to chronic insomnia later in life.
Unfortunately, teenagers appear to be getting less sleep than ever - and a new study suggests this could lead to alcohol problems, drug use and even regretful sexual behavior later in life.
Researchers in the United States analyzed data collected from more than 6,500 teenagers. They found that teenagers who had trouble falling asleep were more likely to use illicit drugs, engage in sexual behavior that they'd later regret or binge drink in later years.
The data suggested that as sleep quality decreased, the link with these issues got stronger - teenagers who had difficulty falling asleep almost every day were 33% more likely to experience these issues compared to teenagers with healthy sleep patterns.
Researchers also found that the less sleep teenagers got, the more likely they were to experience a number of other problems such as relationship issues due to alcohol misuse.
It's not all doom and gloom though - researchers found that just 1 extra hour of sleep was linked to a decrease in the odds of future binge drinking.
Further confirmation that sleep issues in children should never be ignored.
Last updated: January 23, 2015