The great American sleep recession

Not getting enough sleep causes all kinds of harm to people's minds and bodies no matter their age.

Story highlights

  • Teens may be suffering the most from sleep deprivation, new study says
  • National Sleep Foundation has new recommendations on how much sleep to get
  • Mindful meditation can help those suffering sleep disturbances, researchers say

(CNN)I won't take it personally if you yawn while reading this story.

Chances are ,you're sleep-deprived.
Sleep deprivation is such a rampant problem that last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called insufficient sleep a public health epidemic.
    Teenagers may be suffering the most. Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health called the problem "The Great Sleep Recession" in a new study published in the journal Pediatrics.
    They surveyed more than 270,000 teens in eighth, 10th and 12th grades between 1991 and 2012 and found that teens are getting less and less sleep.
    The average amount is seven hours a day, which is two hours less than the nine hours they should be snoozing. African-American and Hispanic boys are the least likely to sleep enough. But why?
    Katherine W. Keyes, lead researcher and assistant professor of epidemiology at Mailman, says researchers don't know. She and her team speculate that increased Internet and social media use is a factor as well as pressure and competition over the college admissions process.
    Not everyone gets all their sleep at night though.