Parents of adolescents know that youth sleep patterns can be erratic, with some of that due to hand-held devices linked to the Internet. The problem reached the pages of Sleep, courtesy of behavioral scientist Robert Roberts in the published article “The Prospective Association between Sleep Deprivation and Depression among Adolescents”
As reported, researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston tracked the habits of more than 4,000 adolescents over a year. The verdict? Teenagers who don’t get enough sleep are four times as likely to develop as their peers who sleep more.
“Kids should go to bed at a regular time,” Roberts said during an interview with NPR. “They should wake up at a regular time. They should have a dark room if possible — that means no TV, no games, no phones.”
“A lot of adolescents just aren’t getting as much sleep at they should”. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends nine to 10 hours, but 70% of high schoolers don’t meet that requirement.”
In a second study, researchers in Sweden found that lack of sleep and excessive media use were associated with mental health problems in teens.
The researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm collected data from over 12,000 European adolescents. They were looking for behaviors that were most associated with depression and suicide in teens. Teens who engaged in risky behaviors weren’t the only ones who showed depressive symptoms. Depression and suicidal thoughts were just as common among kids who didn’t sleep and exercise enough.
Click to read full story: NPR News.