Teenagers seem to have a complex and unique relationship with sleep. For one, they need far more than virtually any other age group outside the very old and the very young. For years, the fact that teens want to sleep more than usual was put down to them simply being lazy, but recent research has shown that teenagers do in fact need more sleep and that the levels of sleep they get during their teen years can actually affect their health.
One recent study found that teenagers who sleep less eat more junk food. In other words, teens who do not get enough sleep have a high chance of becoming obese than teens who do get enough sleep.
The study compared teens who slept for more than eight hours a night and teens who slept for less than eight hours a night and found, after all the other potential factors were cancelled out, that those who slept less consumed around 2.2 % more calories than those who slept more. While this might not sound like much, the cumulative effect is actually quite large. If you add up that 2.2 % extra per day across an entire year, it equates to a lot more calories, more than enough to cause weight problems.
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