Scientist looking at data about delinquency and sleep say that the severity of delinquency seems to be directly linked to the severity of the delinquent’s sleep deficit.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Nebraska, and is published in the October 10 issue of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence. It looked at data from 15 years ago that was part of a federally-funded study on adolescent health and risky behaviors. The original study followed the behavior of more than 14,000 high school students.
University of Nebraska researchers say their evaluation of the data indicates that students who slept seven or fewer hours per night reported more delinquency such as vandalism or theft, than students who slept the recommended eight to 10 hours.
Although the study couldn’t demonstrate that insufficient snoozing caused delinquency rather than, for example, the other way around, “the findings suggest that sleep is an important, and overlooked, dimension of delinquent behavior,” the researchers wrote. They argued that this aspect deserves further investigation.