Less Sleep Means More Stress for Teens

Posted on December 12, 2014

Photo: flickr

Data from Sleep Cycle reveals some intriguing insights: Teens who live in states that have early school start times get less shut-eye than those who live in states with later start times, and the short snoozers report greater levels of stress than those who sleep even just a little longer. Overall, by the way, American teens sleep less than those in Europe, but more than those in South Korea and Japan.

Sleep Cycle is a company that makes a smart-phone app by the same name. When a phone is placed on a bed, the app records a person’s movements during the night, using the phone’s accelerometer. The movements are a proxy for when the individual is in light sleep, deep sleep or REM sleep (the dream state). The app tracks the sleep cycles and adjusts an alarm to wake the person in the morning when he or she is in the lightest sleep, which some scientists think helps people feel more rested, compared with being woken up during deep sleep.

Of course, the app records when people go to bed and rise, and users can enter comments, such as how stressful their day was.

The results back up sleep researchers, biologists and social scientists who say high school should start later in the morning, allowing teens to get more sleep.

West Virginia teens spend the least time in bed; at 6 hours, 47 minutes, they sleep 21 minutes less than the national average. They are also the most stressed out of teens in all states.
Louisiana teens sleep 12 minutes less than the national average and hold the number two spot for the most stressed.

Vermont teens hold the number 2 spot for most time in bed, at 7 hours, 23 minutes—15 minutes more than the national average. They have the third latest wake-up time, at 7:10 a.m., and they are the least stressed nationwide.
Teenagers in South Korea and Japan get an hour and 20 minutes less sleep than American teens, with an average of 5 hours, 47 minutes.

I wonder how stressed those teens are.

It’s worth noting that other apps and gadgets such as Fitbit also track certain aspects of sleep. And if you like gadgets, check out our holiday gadget guide.

For more statistical results, visit the link.

Category(s):Sleep Disorders, Stress Management

Source material from Scientific American