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Teens who get less than 7 hours of sleep get lower grades, study finds

A good night's sleep is important for everyone, but for teenagers with ADHD, it's critical.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — We all know getting a good night's sleep is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and well-being, and it seems like teens never get enough sleep.

But the problem can be even bigger for children with ADHD. Research has shown that teenagers should get about nine hours of sleep a night, but thanks to school and social demands, that doesn't always happen. 

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The problem is even worse for teens with ADHD, who report lower quality sleep than their peers. A researcher at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital did a sleep study on students, half with ADHD, half without. 

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The study found that 20% of kids with ADHD got less than seven hours of sleep on school nights. In the other group, that number was just 10%. 

But for all kids, those who got less sleep also got lower grades. So, what can parents and teens do? It starts with some basic ground rules. 

Keep beds for sleep only. That helps train the brain to associate going to bed with going to sleep. Also, keep a strict bedtime routine. That helps all teens, but especially those with ADHD. 

Experts even suggest teachers should keep an eye out for sleepy kids so they can alert parents there is a potential problem. 

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