Research In Action

Research In Action

catch-up sleep
"Catch Up" Sleep for Teens May Reduce Crash Risk
May 28, 2013
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Our Colleagues from the George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, Australia recently published a study in JAMA Pediatrics that demonstrates it’s worth it to let your teen sleep in on weekends. Drowsy driving is a common cause of crashes involving teen drivers. Early school start times and after school activities can cut into precious sleep time required by adolescents, who need about 8 ½ to 9 ¼ hours of sleep a night.

The study of drivers 17 to 24 years of age showed that having only six hours of sleep a night was enough to increase relative crash risk for adolescent drivers. Those drivers who had less sleep on weekends were also at increased risk for run-off-road crashes. The crashes involving drivers with six or fewer hours of sleep were most likely to occur between 8 pm and 6 am.

Flaura Winston, CIRP@CHOP’s scientific director and founder, recommends that parents let their teens sleep in on weekends and provide rides when they know their teens are tired. She also supports policy changes to institute ater school start times for high schools.