How To Predict If A Teen Will Be An Alcoholic

By Brian Lemay 100 comments

“This episode of DNews is brought to you
by the Toyota Prius. Let’s lead the way.” Teenagers don’t get enough sleep, because
they’re up late making bad decisions, right? But what if it’s the other way around? But
could their lack of sleep lead to partying? Hey everyone, julia here for DNews Teenagers don’t get enough sleep, some studies
say almost half of American teenagers don’t get enough sleep. But maybe that’s because
they’re forced into a schedule counter to their biological clocks. Their internal clocks
tick a little later than full grown adults. They sleep longer and stay awake later. Yet
thanks to early start times for high schools, they often get less than 7 of their recommended
9-9 ½ hours of sleep. A recent study published in the journal Alcoholism:
Clinical and Experimental Research, suggests that sleep problems in teenagers mean more
than just an attitude and poor grades. Trouble sleeping or not getting enough sleep strongly
predicted not just alcohol use, but associated problematic behaviors, like binge-drinking,
driving under the influence and risky sexual behavior. Previous studies show a relation between sleep
problems and substance abuse in high risk populations, but this study controlled for
that. These were kids who, for whatever reason weren’t sleeping enough. The researchers looked at data collected from
interviews and questionnaires from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult
Health. The data was collected in three waves, 1st wave 1994 to 1995; second wave: 1996;
third wave: 2001 to 2002. Controlling for previous substance abuse, those sleepy high
schoolers in the mid-90s, were more likely to have drinking problems 6 or 7 years later. The researchers found that having trouble
sleeping or not getting enough sleep in the 1st wave strongly predicted alcohol problems
in the 2nd wave, the prediction for alcohol issues in the third wave was less strong but
still significant. While some of sleepiness can be attributed
to an unfriendly schedule, the rates of insomnia and sleep issues reported in this study were
about the same for adults. One in ten reported chronic insomnia while three in ten report
occasional insomnia. This points to a biological basis for sleeping problems. This isn’t the first study to show a correlation
between being tired and making bad decisions. Studies often show not getting enough sleeps
inhibits self-regulation, something teens already struggle with. Why do teens struggle more than the rest of
us? Well mainly because their pre-frontal cortex isn’t fully developed yet. This part
of the brain sits just behind the forehead and it’s important for what’s called “executive
functioning”. Things like planning, memory, organization and mood. More importantly in
the case of the sleepy teens, this part of the brain helps you weigh the cost and benefits
of your choices. Studies show that a lack of sleep reduces
activity in this part of the brain, this disruption increases risk taking behavior. It’s easy
to see how poor sleep and the teenage brain combine and can lead to bad decisions. Being
a teenager and being sleep deprived is a double whammy for the prefrontal cortex. So if you’re a teen, get more sleep. Seriously.
If you’re a parent of a teen, help them get the sleep they need. You might try to
talk to them about how important sleep is for the developing brain. Keep them on a regular
sleep schedule and cut out electronics like phones and laptops before bed. It could help
curb some of the more dangerous of adolescent behaviors. To learn more about why teenagers need more
sleep or to find out why you need to sleep at all, check these videos below. So, throwing it back to you commenters, is
partying late really that excellent? Do you party because you’re sleep deprived? Comment
below! oh and don’t forget to hit that subscribe button! Let us know! We can be found on the twitter


jesse scheepmaker

Jan 1, 2015, 1:00 am Reply

ooh, if my mom started restricting my shit so i could sleep better, i'd be out of the house within a fucking week

Stars Story

Jan 1, 2015, 1:28 am Reply

this is bullshit 


Jan 1, 2015, 1:50 am Reply

Well shit, I have As in every class I have, I sleep 6 hours and I am not in anyway a problematic teen, explain that, also I haven't drunk alcohol in my life :I


Jan 1, 2015, 3:15 am Reply

ok first of all
1. I get like 5 hours of sleep a night
2. My social life is better than that of an average person
3. I'm 14
4. I don't do "parties" I do calm hangouts
5. I have no interest in alcohol
6. If I wanted to go to bed earlier, I can't, I simply cannot
7. I feel great most of the time
8. I'm healthy
9. I'm an honor roll student
10. Sleep is boring, school should start later, night cats unite!

Emilie Wolf

Jan 1, 2015, 3:53 am Reply

As a teenager, I needed a full 10 hours of sleep to function. Now as a 30 year old, I need 8 hours to feel ready for a full day. Actually, I figured out that I only need 7 hours and 50 minutes. I used the Sleepbot app to track my sleep and come to that conclusion. Everyone is different. Know thyself.

Charles Ribeiro

Jan 1, 2015, 4:02 am Reply

Actually not, I'm the one in my friends circle that sleeps the less(4h a day) and the only one that doens't drink alcohol. This study is busted.


Jan 1, 2015, 5:05 am Reply

No wonder my memory has gone to shit


Jan 1, 2015, 5:12 am Reply

You're like a hot female version of Isaac Newton

Val B

Jan 1, 2015, 5:48 am Reply

This is a failed study. There's too many things that can make a teen want to drink. Blaming it ALL on sleep deprivation is dumb. Some nights I only get 4 hours of sleep – I have no control over it – and I don't drink.

According to this study I'm an outlier, yet my family is European and they love having an occasional glass of wine at dinner.


Jan 1, 2015, 7:35 am Reply

I slept everyday in high school and I still haven't touched alcohol or any drugs xD


Jan 1, 2015, 11:05 am Reply

I'm a teenager and the only time i actually get a good night's rest is on breaks and holidays because when there is school i'm usually up doing homework, studying, destressing myself, or worried about my life, my future, and a bunch of crap like that.


Jan 1, 2015, 12:06 pm Reply

this is some soccer mom bullshit . corelation is not causality

Marcus Svensson

Jan 1, 2015, 2:22 pm Reply

I guess Karl Pilkington is on the way, but i'll call it before him.  Bullshit!!


Jan 1, 2015, 2:23 pm Reply

My middle name is sleep deprived.


Jan 1, 2015, 3:09 pm Reply

Less than 7 hours? Almost half? Psh… More like less than 5 hours and more than half of teenagers.

David Cookson

Jan 1, 2015, 5:21 pm Reply

I fucking knew it!


Jan 1, 2015, 8:14 pm Reply

i like my sleep i have no problem getting more thanks

Levithan Be Gaming

Jan 1, 2015, 8:34 pm Reply

So, because I don't want to go to sleep at midnight, means ill become an alcoholic in the future? Even though I don't even want to take a sip of an alcoholic beverage now or anytime in the future.

Kevin Lee

Jan 1, 2015, 8:52 pm Reply

what's up with the background music?


Jan 1, 2015, 10:44 pm Reply

can some one clarefy what "risky sexual behavior" is? 

Jamie Wilson

Jan 1, 2015, 10:56 pm Reply

this is me


Jan 1, 2015, 3:07 am Reply

I didn't have much luck with sleep in highschool. Now that I'm an adult its a lot easier because I am able to choose to train in the afternoons and work at night so I can sleep when my body wants to which is after about 5:00am

Duncan Phillips

Jan 1, 2015, 4:02 am Reply

As much as I want to take what this is as knowledgeable evidence I dont know if I really can. I get at most 6 (on a really good day) hours of sleep but I usually hover around 3 or so. This hasnt really hampered my abilities all that much considering I have a 4 gpa and take all honors and ap courses. Idk I know there are exceptions to rules, not saying I am but I just dont think this really applies to me.

RaizeYour Standards

Jan 1, 2015, 4:11 am Reply

If I go to sleep at 1:30 am then wake up at 6:15 am I'm screwed if I drink alcohol

HeyGuysIt’sAboutTimeIToldYou IHaveASmallDick

Jan 1, 2015, 4:13 am Reply

I'm in highschool and I am fully aware I don't get enough sleep. I want to, really, but for some reason, I work faster and better past 8. I usually finish at 12, and then I wake up at 6. On the weekend, I sleep. Like that is literally all I do. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Then I get up and panic about how much shit I have to do.


Jan 1, 2015, 4:51 am Reply

This is not true at all i  say up late everyday and i don't make stupid decisions i even have bad ass grades! 


Jan 1, 2015, 5:14 am Reply

heh heh heh little does D news know… it's 11:13 and i have to get up for work at 5:30 


Jan 1, 2015, 7:00 am Reply

i'm 22 now ,but i have to say i try to sleep 6 hours, it really is person to person, but i don't drink, i choose to drink on certain occasions but i made this decisions when  i saw how alcohol made my parents react when i was young, first i was totally against it, but i'm pretty intelligent and i thought technically i can smoke and drink, but how strong is your will to become dependent on it, i don't drink coffé  cause i think it makes you weak, being dependent makes you weak, i rather have a nice cold cup for water, or juice, and i try to wean my self off of using to much milk and milk products, i've been very fit for most of my life, and i even tested my human boundaries when it comes to eating very little, not getting exercise, to over clocking and such, and i have tried some heavier drugs for trying them sake, i have been smoking for 1 year, at the age of 18-19 and it was about 3 ciggs a day, maybe 4 maybe none, depends, but i never felt addicted, i do get a certain urge every now and then but i fill it with doing something else like games, hanging out with friends or sports "mostly swimming and such"  but yeah, all humans work differently, so i don´t recommend going and trying drugs when the chance is offered at any given time, if you know ur strengths, its like i have a cousin, i play wow, he doesn't but i can handle it, he knows he can't so he wont want to risk trying it, i have also noticed more and more people stop drinking beer, and or stop finding beer enjoyable, and more and more people who were young in the 70's and 80's did weed but now all these medical "reasons" to allow marijuana is popping up, i think marijuana should be just like cigarettes sold to the legal age of cigarettes and you should be able to keep one as a plan "i know i would" but not for smoking purposes, just to study, now i don't really care what they do, but i think alcohol is much more dangerous than marijuana, and i usually have to say i tend to find people with marijuana addiction or people who take it on a regular basis, i tend to find them more aggressive when they don't get it, they get spontaneous out bursts of aggression, either people like that i have met who just so happen to also be taking marijuana, or marijuana is causing it, i haven't see any videos about that, but maybe @DNews  you might make one? anyways thanks for the vid, and thanks for reading my story, sorry i went a bit off track XD


Jan 1, 2015, 7:54 am Reply

I get an hour of sleep a day and I feel fine…
I operate best with little sleep…

Hector Daniel

Jan 1, 2015, 9:58 am Reply

I don't know who you are or what you said lady but you are HOT!

jst fr funnn!! :D

Jan 1, 2015, 10:22 am Reply

If u don't get enough sleep as teenagers then u also don't grow up much in height…
Your life exists till your body is functioning…so y not take care of it….I noe everyBODY is different and everyBODY isn't perfect….bodies have 2 b cared for 😉


Jan 1, 2015, 12:01 pm Reply

What about a study for us adults who cannot sleep? I know that part of my sleep issues are caused by both severe depression and PTSD. So what ways can be used to combat such issues without meds or shrinks?

Michael Merritt

Jan 1, 2015, 5:37 pm Reply

Julia Wilde… and super cute. DNews, use her more often.

paul jimenez

Jan 1, 2015, 6:34 pm Reply

The only one I really experience is risky sexual behavior….but I did have a dream that I got drunk does that count


Jan 1, 2015, 11:14 pm Reply

According to the study I should be a party driven drunk. But I'm don't like parties and don't drink either. Lol love the show. You guys are awesome over at @DNews keep up the awesome work.

Henry McMahon

Jan 1, 2015, 11:18 pm Reply

Wow all of the presenters for Dnews are so good looking


Jan 1, 2015, 3:35 am Reply

You wake up at morning, make breakfast, go to school, come home, eat dinner, go to work, then get back home at evening and finally have time for living your life. What do you expect teens to do? Go sleep and restart everything again? It's depressing.

Sarah Petters

Jan 1, 2015, 4:58 am Reply

Don't have to worry bout me…. I sleep way to much.. Sleep is my life

mj ramos

Jan 1, 2015, 7:31 am Reply

Wtf is wrong with her? She says that teens are prone to be nocturnal, teens wakes up later, school starts too early, and these all factor in to being alcoholic – true. But then she starts whamming on how parents should try to not make them nocturnal so they can function on a societal structure rather than based on natural law. Why not make videos and then support its evidence?


Jan 1, 2015, 12:45 pm Reply

Fuck alcohol that shit tastes so nasty idk how people drink that shit everyday just for feeling of being fucked up. I only drink it on special occasions. HOW ALCOHOL DRINKING SHOULD BE.

My road To 9a

Jan 1, 2015, 3:43 pm Reply

I sleep 6 hours every night and I don't do any of these things.


Jan 1, 2015, 3:58 am Reply

What is Party?

App User

Jan 1, 2015, 8:55 am Reply

1:01 "Substance Abue"

t q

Jan 1, 2015, 8:56 am Reply

Ok now I know I am not insane… why is DNews playing a piano in the background of some of their videos.  This is the second one I could hear it in.  Listen to it, it plays very softly but its there.

Steven Merts

Jan 1, 2015, 7:14 am Reply

Too much work? No
Insomnia? No
Not enough time to sleep? No
It's just the phone, it's only the phone! Lol

Astonished By The Lack Of Cake

Jan 1, 2015, 2:22 pm Reply

I should stop being up all night…

Dave Jacob

Jan 1, 2015, 5:20 pm Reply

at 0:36 there´s a typing-mistake: it says 9-9.5 hours, but she says 8-9.5 hours.

Bip Blop

Jan 1, 2015, 8:33 pm Reply

That's it. EVery student know that they will be alcoholic. No turning back child. Stay in school and you will be an alcoholic or stay at home and sleep and you will be okay.

Worst Scenarios

Feb 2, 2015, 9:18 am Reply

I overdose on benedyl and it has no effect -_-


Feb 2, 2015, 12:26 pm Reply

I had trouble with proper sleep(regularity, hours etc) since Forever. I used to be up until 4am and wake up at 6am for school. I'd drop to bed after school(3pm) and sleep till 7pm/8pm. But I always had tuition, extra classes, homework, assignments, etc.

Childhood/adolescence was tough even without the school part.


Feb 2, 2015, 4:00 pm Reply

this is false i confirmed it

Casey Eye

Feb 2, 2015, 4:29 pm Reply

anyone else catch the Freddy Kruger Music softly playing in the background of this sleeping episode? I'm getting mixed messages. 

Julia Rzasinska

Feb 2, 2015, 3:31 am Reply

Who the hell would want to party if they're sleep deprived? If I come home from school and I'm tired I'm not gonna go out and party, I'm going to binge watch Friends on Netflix and go to sleep.


Feb 2, 2015, 5:25 pm Reply

This title is misleading…


Feb 2, 2015, 2:45 am Reply

i get like 5-6 hrs of sleep during the school week (im in ap classes and have a lot of homework) then i sleep around 12-13 hrs on the weekend and my parents say its because im lazy

Sup Soul

Feb 2, 2015, 7:48 am Reply

I'm watching this at midnight lol.

Swithin Games

Mar 3, 2015, 6:04 pm Reply

watching youtube videos all night
well at least it's fun! 😀


Mar 3, 2015, 9:41 am Reply

[~"Toyota ?prias? .. Lets lead the way"] mm that seems like a good selling line.

Quyen Ha

Mar 3, 2015, 3:20 am Reply

It's the homework that's the problem…


Mar 3, 2015, 4:00 pm Reply

I'm so high right now.  Man, Julia looks tasty.

Lusus Naturae

Mar 3, 2015, 12:01 am Reply

"If you are a teenager, get more sleep. If you are the parent of a teenager, encourage them to sleep more" And if you are anyone at the school board, start school later so we are not working on some sort of crazy schedule so we can get some damn sleep. 

Sydney Cook

Apr 4, 2015, 1:56 am Reply

Thank you, I love this episode, stop swearing guys, I'm only ten and I hate what drinking does to you in the morning, well if you drink too much…

Mountain Goat

May 5, 2015, 2:07 pm Reply

Well damn, im 15 and sleep about 4-5 hours on school days and 8 hours on weekends. Is alcohol my destiny?

Mike Napier

Sep 9, 2015, 4:53 pm Reply

i am in love with this woman.

Carolina Roselin

Oct 10, 2015, 1:37 pm Reply

what is considered as "strongly predicting"? Why not to tell us the numbers straight away?

Oscair Connolly

Oct 10, 2015, 5:54 pm Reply

Looks like random correlation, realistically sleeping habits when younger HARDLY dictate if you will become an alcoholic. What about all the gamers who play til 4am??


Oct 10, 2015, 10:40 am Reply

what a neck


Nov 11, 2015, 3:29 am Reply

You are so boring.

Josh Ichull

Nov 11, 2015, 8:45 am Reply

lol watching this video at 1am when i should be sleeping….

Lick my Nautz

Mar 3, 2016, 10:59 pm Reply

8 to 9 recommended holy shit that's like 2x my sleep lol

Tyler Ferguson

Apr 4, 2016, 5:00 am Reply

fuck you I drink because I love it


May 5, 2016, 12:44 am Reply

There's no way I can wake up at 6:30, go to school until 3:30, do sports until 6:30 PM, drive home through rush hour and arrive at 7-7:30, do 2-4 hours of homework, eat, shower, and do chores and still get "8 or 9 hours" of sleep. These sleep recommendations are bs. If you want any free time whatsoever, you're already down to 5 or 6 hours tops.

No wonder we go fucking insane on the weekends.

Chris Allen

Jun 6, 2016, 11:05 am Reply

Haha take away my phone? NOPE!


Jun 6, 2016, 2:41 pm Reply

sleep is for the weak tho

Stephen Smith

Jun 6, 2016, 7:12 am Reply

Well duh, If you sleep more you have less time to drink.


Oct 10, 2016, 1:06 am Reply

As a 16 year old who gets 5-7 hours of sleep a night, this is basically saying im fucked

Pat Shaller

Dec 12, 2016, 5:10 pm Reply

hell no it's not better to party late.If you drink you end up with a worst hangover the next day in my experience.


Dec 12, 2016, 1:30 pm Reply

I'm 16 and have drank every Saturday for 6 months I feel like I'm addicted what do I do cause I'm not telling my mum hahaha

f leafy

Dec 12, 2016, 4:14 am Reply

im only 16 and i think ima alcoholic smh


Feb 2, 2017, 12:18 am Reply

i'm 18 and drink anywhere from 6-15 beers every couple days, will i be an alcoholic?

Caitlin K

Mar 3, 2017, 10:47 am Reply


Awkwardly Inhuman

Apr 4, 2017, 7:47 am Reply

Watching this at 12:46 am as a teen…

Debi Lee Mauterstock

May 5, 2017, 3:40 am Reply

Kids are not sleeping enough? How the hell does one wake up a non drug abuser into daylight hours w/o a whine and screech??

hey that’s pretty good

May 5, 2017, 5:50 am Reply

well shieeeetttt


Jul 7, 2017, 12:17 pm Reply

I don't wanna do the alcohol


Aug 8, 2017, 8:23 am Reply

I party to get Riggity Riggity Wrecked Son!!!!!

Ichabod Von Stein

Aug 8, 2017, 8:11 pm Reply

I just started drinking because I was bored with the same shit everyday.

James Bond

Sep 9, 2017, 4:56 am Reply

hmm… makes sense that being an avid meth user between age 14-18 would lead to an early alcoholic binge and almost death (usually seen in mid-age or later people) at only age 22-26…

this video also doesn't cover how heroin can save an alcoholics life, literally…. maybe its not official but it saved MY life. "too much" alcohol is the worst thing you can possibly do to yourself.

Yang Family

Oct 10, 2017, 12:11 am Reply

call it what you wanna call it im a fuckin alcoholic

The Crescent Ghost

Oct 10, 2017, 7:16 am Reply

In HS I used to get up at 4:30am to work out in my room. I was a swimmer. When I got to college, well………………….. things changed.

Kyle Slaughter

Oct 10, 2017, 10:03 am Reply

I'm so sick of having an alcohol problem. I simply want help. That's all I want. I want rehab.

Brandon Teeter

Oct 10, 2017, 3:30 am Reply

I wonder why people don’t just realize that teens walk around like zombies and get angsty because they don’t get to sleep.


Oct 10, 2017, 9:46 pm Reply

My dad became his dad drunk bicth I'm next

the foxy llama

Nov 11, 2017, 1:42 am Reply

what if there's a correlation between staying up late (due to a lack of caring) and alcohol abuse (due to a lack of caring)? maybe you're blaming the wrong people

Savila Trip

Jan 1, 2018, 8:20 am Reply

Who else gets about 3-4 hours of sleep? ?

Thermo Nuclear

Jan 1, 2018, 11:54 pm Reply

Not allways bad decisions. Im a teen and im tired from waking up at 6 am for school and I don't go to sleep until like 2 am. And the reason for that is because im either doing video games, YouTube or Instagram. And on top of that most teens are mentally ill which could be another reason that we are so tired.

Thermo Nuclear

Jan 1, 2018, 12:04 am Reply

Btw thx for the heads up. Im going to be strict to myself about this.


Mar 3, 2018, 2:45 am Reply

Watching this at 4:45 AM 😀


Aug 8, 2018, 4:39 am Reply

i hate her voice


Aug 8, 2019, 2:21 pm Reply

My brain won't turn off which causes insomnia. Alcohol slows my thoughts down and allows me to relax. Otherwise I will be thinking about programming industrial robots to pour wine or some weird bullshit like that.

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