Running on Empty

Sleeplessness in American Teens

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 8

Young adults need eight to ten hours of sleep each night, yet nearly half fail to get the sleep they need, and nearly a third have fallen asleep in school due to insufficient sleep. So many Americans—both teens and adults—lack quality sleep that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls sleep deprivation a public health epidemic. Chronic sleep deprivation leads to poor performance during the day and impacts stress levels, academic performance, and physical and mental health. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that sleeping difficulties contribute to one-third of auto accidents. And drowsy-driving can lead to fatalities.

Author and registered nurse, Connie Goldsmith presents a much needed scientific and informative approach to the topic of sleep, making the case for taking measures to get adequate and quality sleep each night to combat anxiety, depression, and stress. Running on Empty: Sleeplessness in American Teens provides readers with information on the why and tips for the how to sleep well.

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Interest Level Grade 6 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 8
Genre Social Studies, Young Adult
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Traditional Nonfiction
Copyright 2021
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Twenty-First Century Books ™
Language English
Number of Pages 112
Publication Date 2021-04-06
Text Type Informational/Explanatory
BISACS YAN024030, YAN024050, YAN049000
Dewey 618.92/8498
Dimensions 6 x 9
Lexile 1050
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Bibliography/further reading, Charts/Graphs/Diagrams, Glossary, Index, Photo captions, Reviewed, Sidebars, Source notes, and Table of contents

Author: Connie Goldsmith

Connie Goldsmith is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science degree in nursing and a master of public administration degree in health care. She has written numerous books for YA readers and nearly two hundred magazine articles. Her recent books include Kiyo Sato: From a WWII Japanese Internment Camp to a Life of Service (2020), a Junior Library Guild selection; Running on Empty: Sleeplessness in American Teens (2021); Understanding Coronaviruses: SARS, MERS, and the COVID-19 Pandemic (2021); and Bombs Over Bikini: The World's First Nuclear Disaster (2014), a Junior Library Guild selection, a Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, an Association of Children's Librarians of Northern California Distinguished Book, and an SCBWI Crystal Kite Winner. She lives in Sacramento, California. Visit her website at


School Library Journal

“Recommended for any young adult conducting research on the topic of sleep deprivation or simply curious about how to get a better night’s sleep.”—School Library Journal


“This worthwhile book offers both a wake-up call and a practical guide for teens who need sleep.”—Booklist

Kirkus Reviews

“A thoroughly researched and approachable introduction to an important subject.”—Kirkus Reviews