Teens who slept fewer than 6½ hours a night had more than twice the risk of high blood pressure and those with troubled sleep had more than triple the risk, the team at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio found.
"Our study underscores the high rate of poor quality and inadequate sleep in adolescence coupled with the risk of developing high blood pressure and other health problems," said Dr. Susan Redline, the pediatrician who led the study.
"We also found that a low sleep efficiency may be more consistently associated with pre-hypertension than a shorter sleep period." ~ Reuters, 18 Aug 2008
According to the study, adolescents need 9 hours of quality sleep every night. If they get less than 9 hours of sleep, their hypertension risk more than doubled (2.5 fold), and the same risk more than tripled (3.5 fold) when they had what was termed as "low-efficient sleep."
Low-sleep efficiency is defined by the study as having trouble falling asleep much of the time, or waking up too early.
Reasons for losing sleep are varied --- and you probably know most of them --- watching television, playing video games, internet surfing on the computer, talking for hours on the phone, etc.
Sleep is one important health habit many people take for granted.