From the time they hit puberty until the age of 22, adolescents need about 9 hours of sleep a night to function optimally—to be physically, mentally and cognitively healthy. Tell this to nine out of ten teenagers (or their parents for that matter) and they will laugh. What teenager has time to sleep for 9 hours a night during the school year?
Very few. In fact, only about 8 percent of American teenagers get the sleep they need, according to a recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The rest live with chronic sleep deprivation—some mild to moderate, but more than half (59%) with severe sleep deprivation, meaning they sleep on average six hours or less most school nights.