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Lack of sleep increases risk of failure in school

Press Release   •   Sep 22, 2014 10:24 BST

A new Swedish study shows that adolescents who suffer from sleep disturbance or habitual short sleep duration are less likely to succeed academically compared to those who enjoy a good night’s sleep. The results have recently been published in the journal Sleep Medicine.

In a new study involving more than 20,000 adolescents aged between 12 and 19 from Uppsala County, researchers from Uppsala University demonstrate that reports of sleep disturbance and habitual short sleep duration (less than 7 hours per day) increased the risk of failure in school.

The study was led by researcher Christian Benedict and doctoral student Olga Titova at the Department of Neuroscience. The results suggest that sleep may play an important role for adolescents’ performance at school.

“Another important finding of our study is that around 30 percent of the adolescents reported regular sleep problems. Similar observations have been made in other adolescent cohorts, indicating that sleep problems among adolescents have reached an epidemic level in our modern societies”, says Christian Benedict.

Titova O.E. et al. Associations of self-reported sleep disturbance and duration with academic failure in community-dwelling Swedish adolescents. Sleep Medicine (in press).

The researchers’ work is primarily supported by the Swedish Brain Foundation (Hjärnfonden) and Novo Nordisk Foundation.

For more information, please contact Christian Benedict, researcher at the Department of Neuroscience, mobile:  +46 (0)70-425 02 15, e-mail: or Cecilia Yates, information officer at Department of Neuroscience, mobile:  +46 (0)704-334801,

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