Coffee-drinking teens losing sleep - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Coffee-drinking teens losing sleep

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

Between coffee, soda, and energy drinks, teens are wired and tired. But what does all this caffeine do to a brain that's still developing?

The Swiss National Science Foundation says caffeine-induced teens are struggling with sleep. Researchers found that teens who drink three to four cups of coffee a day could be missing some of the deep sleep they need, therefore delaying their brain development.

Scientists came to this conclusion after administering caffeine to lab rats and measuring how quickly their brains matured.

Dr. Tom Miller at the SIU Family Practice, says there is an easy solution to combat this problem.

"The key thing is really getting enough sleep," Miller said. "It's hard because kids aren't wired to be early-morning risers. So because of that, it's really important that you establish routines."

Dr. Miller says teens need more sleep than adults, as a lack of sleep deprives your brain from functioning at its peak. He says the principle applies to people of all ages.

"Everything in moderation," Miller said. "I think if someone had a caffeinated beverage, my preference would be coffee over colas and other things because there's actually more natural products in coffee than there is in colas."

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