Teens' relationships with their parents, as well as their social lives, may affect sleep more than previously realized, according to a new study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati found that teens whose parents keep a tighter leash on them are more likely to get adequate sleep each night.
"Research shows that parents who keep tabs on their kids are less likely to see them get into trouble or use drugs and alcohol," study researcher David J. Maume, a sociology professor at the university, said in a statement. "My findings suggest a similar dynamic with sleep. Parents who monitor their children's behavior are more likely to have kids that get adequate rest. Given that children generally get less sleep as they become teenagers, parents should be ever more vigilant at this stage."
In addition, teens whose friends are positive and care about school are more likely to get more, and higher quality, shut-eye, the researchers found.
Almost 1,000 teens from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development were examined from age 12 to 15 for the research. During this age range, researchers found that the average amount of sleep teens got went from nine hours on a school night to less than eight.
They found associations between sleep quantity and quality and different aspects of teens' lives. For instance, teens whose parents monitored their behavior were more likely to get better sleep. Girls were more likely than boys to have sleep issues (such as middle insomnia, or not being able to sleep because of different worries).
An association was also identified between increased computer use and decreased sleep, as well as increased TV time and increased sleep issues. However, interestingly, another association was found between increased TV time and slightly increased quantity of sleep, though more research is needed to explain this finding, the researchers noted.