A recent study on teen sleep problems and teen substance abuse show that there is a link between these two factors. Though there is a proven relationship between teen sleep problems and teen substance abuse this relationship is one that is highly complex and very complicated. Studies have shown that many problems associated with substance abuse among teens are connected to sleep patterns. Idaho State University scientists decided to look further into this connection between these factors to see whether sleep patterns could be used as a prediction factor for teen substance abuse. The research included data on more than 6,500 adolescents. The researchers found that sleep problems among teens could be used to predict numerous substance abuse issues, including binge drinking, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and driving under the influence among other behaviors.
Teen sleep problems that may be used to predict teen substance abuse includes getting to sleep, staying asleep, and getting enough sleep each night. The data used for the study was compiled over a period of several years, and sleep patterns from the earlier waves were compared to substance abuse in the later waves. The study also showed that as adolescents aged they tended to get less sleep each night, with many being sleep deprived on a regular basis by the age of 17 or 18. Some studies have shown that the sleep patterns of children as young as 2 or 3 may predict substance abuse and other dangerous behaviors in adolescence. This makes it essential that parents ensure good sleeping patterns throughout childhood.