Sleep problems in early childhood could be linked to substance abuse in adolescence. Researchers from Idaho State University studied 386 chidren, gathering information on sleep problems and substance abuse from when they were three to when they were twenty. They found that having trouble sleeping in early childhood - between three and five - predicted a higher probability of having trouble sleeping between 11 and 17, which, in turn, predicted drug problems in young adulthood (18-21). Overtiredness in early childhood predicted problems inhibiting impulsive behaviour in adolescence which was also linked to using more illegal drugs. Overtiredness in childhood also predicted the presence of binge drinking, blackouts and drink driving in young adulthood. It is known that the prevalence of sleep problems in childhood is increasing and in 2006 more than half of secondary-school students in the U.S. reported feeling tired and sleepy with more than 30% saying they had problems sleeping.
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