Yet a recent study shows that teens get an average of six to seven hours. Black teens and males are getting less sleep overall than any other group.
The teens in this study, however, were getting an average of six to seven hours of sleep each night.
The study, led by Karen Matthews, PhD, of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, looked at how much sleep teens across different racial and socioeconomic groups get each night.
The authors gathered information about the sleep habits of 250 healthy public high school students who came from both lower and middle class families.
The students had an average age of 15, were about evenly split between males and females, and included 57 percent black students.
For one week, the teens wore actigraphs, devices which measure how much a person moves or is still, to approximate how much sleep the teens got each night.
In addition, the teens kept track of their amount of sleep and how well they felt they had slept.
They also filled out questionnaires that asked about how sleepy they felt during the day and how long it took them to fall asleep.
Overall, the students slept an average of six hours each weeknight based on the actigraphs’ data and an average of 6.8 hours each weeknight based on the teens’ sleep journals.
These averages fell within a range of an hour more or an hour less across all the participants.
On the weekends, the teens got an average of 7.4 hours of sleep based on the actigraphs and 8.7 hours based on their sleep journals.
However, the researchers discovered differences between males and females and between black and white teens.
Black teens and males, for example, tended to get less sleep than white teens or females and had more fragmented sleep, which means they frequently woke up in the night.