Teens need more sleep than older people, but they rarely get it. Studies have shown young people require nine or 10 hours of sleep a night. However, the demands of school work, jobs and social life rob them of sleep time. Teen sleep patterns are different from those of adults because hormone changes turn them in to night owls for a period of about 10 years from the early teens to early 20s. All this adds up to a large sleep debt by the time each weekend rolls around, and the teen actually needs to sleep late in the morning to catch up.
A chronically sleep-deprived youth has trouble focusing on the work at hand—a definite safety hazard in the workplace. He may also be dozing in class, to the detriment of his education.
Lack of sleep can result in the person inadvertently taking a microsleep. This is a situation in which the brain enters a sleep state for a period of several seconds to a minute. That’s long enough to have a serious accident on the job or while driving an automobile.