Sleeping less than five hours a night increases a teen’s likelihood of carrying a gun and bringing one to school, reports Florida International University.

“While research on the topic of sleep and its connection to delinquency has grown in recent years, fewer studies examine the specific connection between sleep and youth handgun carrying,” said Ryan Meldrum, lead researcher and associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at the Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs.

“Investigating the linkages between sleep behaviors and handgun carrying is of value, in light of the potential for youths carrying firearms to hurt themselves, their peers, or school staff, as well as the need for policy initiatives that could potentially help to address this serious public health concern,” Meldrum added.

The study found that teens who reported sleeping five, six or seven hours a night were no more likely to report carrying a handgun or taking a handgun to school than teens who reported sleeping more than eight hours. The elevated risk of handgun carrying stemming from restricted sleep was confined to teens who reported sleeping four or fewer hours a night.

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