In a recent study of adolescents, those who reported being sleepy during the day were more likely to be antisocial, and they were 4.5-times more likely to commit crime by age 29.
The sleepiness-adult crime relationship was evident even after controlling for adolescent antisocial behavior. Poor daytime attention appeared to play a role in the sleep-crime relationship. Social adversity was identified as a source of both sleepiness and future crime.
"Past studies have been asleep on the job and ignored the key role of sleep in crime causation, and how sleepiness reduces brain regulatory control over antisocial behavior," said Dr. Adrian Raine, lead author of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry study. "We could help reduce future crime by screening high-risk adolescents for sleep problems and providing them with sleep hygiene education--getting them into bed and off the streets."