PHILADELPHIA — Teens who find themselves needing naps after school on a daily basis may be more likely to become a violent criminal later in life, a new study finds.
Previous studies had found that teenagers who reported lethargy midday were more likely to engage in adverse behaviors such as lying, cheating, fighting, and stealing. Using data collected almost four decades ago, however, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and University of York in England were able to find a more surprising correlation: those who experienced daytime sleepiness as teens were 4.5 times more likely to be criminal offenders about 15 years later.
The exact data that the researchers used was derived from a study conducted on 101 15-year-old boys enrolled in secondary school in Great Britain. During an afternoon lab session, each participant was asked to rate their sleepiness on a seven-point scale, both at the session’s beginning and end.
To more empirically gauge lethargy, the students also had their brainwave activity and sweat-rate responses to stimuli examined. Lastly, any anti-social behavior was documented, whether it was self-reported or noted by a teacher.
While the researchers have emphasized that not all drowsy and anti-social teens become criminals, they’re more likely predisposed.
Credit: Study Finds