Speed Reads

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Study finds that most U.S. teens are sleep deprived

A vast majority of high school students in the United States aren't getting enough sleep, which can lead to health problems, bad grades, and accidents.

Looking at interviews conducted between 2007 and 2013, researchers found that just 6 to 7 percent of girls and 8 to 9 percent of boys slept nine or more hours a night, the recommended amount. A whopping 95 percent of high school seniors reported not getting close to that number. "Sleep is essential for the health of the human brain," the authors of the report wrote in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease. "The data show a need for universal interventions — those directed toward all students."

Young people who don't get enough sleep are more likely to get diabetes and do poorly in school, and one study found that teenagers who got less sleep were 21 percent more likely to have been involved in a car crash than those who did get enough sleep, NBC News reports. The American Academy of Pediatrics would like to see middle and high schools have start times of 8:30 a.m. or later, and teens are advised to limit their time looking at video screens before going to sleep and to take naps.