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Survey: Staggering Number Of Teens Not Getting Enough Sleep

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Teenagers are getting less sleep than ever.

But as CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported, getting your kid to sleep longer may be more important than you think.

Trying to wake a sleeping teenager can be trying to say the least.

"My mom's dumped water on me and I still won't get up," said one girl.

"I can't wake up in the morning. My mom yells at me," another girl said.

Teens love their sleep, but they're getting less and less of it.

And according to a new study, it's alarmingly less. Half of the teens surveyed get under seven hours of shut eye. Experts recommend nine to 10 hours of sleep.

Teenage girls are the most sleep deprived, according to the study.

So how many hours do the members of the Wantagh High School basketball team get? They all said only about six.

"I just have a busy day and by the time I get home, I still have my homework to do at like 10:30," said Christina Peden.

"I go from sports, and then I have to do home work, shower, eat dinner. It just adds up," said Darcie Smith.

"And then I go to school and I say 'I can't do this,' and I want to sleep in class," said Courtney Gendels.

The study surveyed nearly 300,000 teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 over 20 years.

The lead author from Columbia University said surprisingly, sleep time dropped off years before smartphones and social media. She suspects teen diets and activity levels play a bigger role.

"We find the trends in adolescent sleep correspond to trends in adolescent obesity in quite a concerning way," said Columbia University Epidemiologist Katherine Keyes.

Adding fuel to the fire is early wake up calls. Nearly half of U.S. high schools begin before 8 a.m.

Wide-eyed at the Westfield South Shore Mall, Maria Delany's kids are in bed by 10 p.m. every night.

"I start at 8 o'clock, 'almost time for bed,'" the Sayville mom said.

Kids who don't get enough sleep are at risk for depression, mood and learning problems.

The survey suggested what's needed is education, and that teens need to learn they need about nine hours of sleep for good grades and better health.

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