Teenagers with erratic sleep patterns may have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s than their well-rested peers, new tests on mice suggest.

Children up to 18 years old are advised to get a solid eight hours of sleep a night, but the hormonal spikes of puberty – and taste for rebellion – make that tough.

However, a new study by neuroscientists at the University of Pennsylvania found teens who cut down on sleep, or wake up during the night, are more likely to develop dangerous build-ups in their brain that pave the way to dementia.

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