Late Sleep Patterns in Adolescents Associated with Increased Health Risks

Researchers at Penn State recently conducted a study on the sleep habits of 377 adolescents and found that those with a later sleep schedule tended to consume more carbohydrates and engage in more sedentary behavior. Even if they met their recommended sleep totals, adolescents with later bedtimes were at an increased risk for health issues. Dr. Mallika Marshall, MD, an Emmy-award-winning journalist and physician who has been serving as the HealthWatch Reporter for CBS Boston/WBZ-TV for over 20 years, believes that going to sleep late can disrupt a child’s circadian rhythm, interfere with their social schedules and responsibilities, and lead to inadequate diet and reduced physical activity. These factors can put adolescents at risk for obesity and poor cardiometabolic health. Dr. Marshall practices at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital and is currently working on the frontlines caring for COVID-19 patients at MGH Chelsea Urgent Care and MGH Revere Health Center. She is also a host and contributing editor for Harvard Health Publications (HHP), the publishing division of Harvard Medical School.

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