An assessment on sleep given to adolescents revealed that lost sleep was linked to feelings of sadness, suicidal thoughts, and substance abuse, reports Scicasts.

George Mason University psychology professor Adam Winsler is an expert on kids and their development, especially how language, ethnicity, poverty and other factors play a role.

Not long ago, he turned his eye toward the importance of sleep, and how a lack of it can deeply affect teenagers’ mental health.

Winsler and his students, along with collaborators from Old Dominion University and Eastern Virginia Medical School, gathered data from the Fairfax County Youth Survey in Virginia. This assessment given to all Fairfax County students in grades 8, 10 and 12 examines behaviours, experiences and other factors impacting children’s health and well-being. The team focused on sleep times reported by an ethnically diverse sample of 27,939 middle- and high-school students. And the numbers were troubling.

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