The National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project has launched the “Sleep Recharges You” campaign, urging teens to make sleep a top priority. Parents and teachers can play an important role by helping teens to understand the importance of sleep.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that teens should sleep 8 to 10 hours each night to promote optimal health. But CDC data show that insufficient sleep is common among teens. About 69 percent of high school students report sleeping 7 hours or less on school nights.

This ongoing sleep loss can hinder teens’ learning ability in the classroom. It also can impair their athletic performance.

Even worse, teens who sleep less than 8 hours on school nights are more likely to make bad choices that put their health at risk. CDC data show that sleepy teens are more likely to:

  • Smoke cigarettes or marijuana
  • Drink alcohol
  • Be sexually active
  • Get in fights 

High school students who don’t get enough sleep also are more likely to feel sad or h