Early to Bed: A Cure for Teen Depression?
A recent study found that adolescents with earlier bedtimes were less likely to suffer from depression and thoughts of suicide. The findings suggest that going to bed early is a good strategy for lengthening sleep duration and increasing the likelihood of getting enough sleep.
The researchers acknowledge the importance of parental influence in bedtimes. Adolescents with a late bedtime (midnight or later) were 24 percent more likely to suffer from depression. Adolescents who reported sleeping less than 5 hours per night were 71 percent more likely to suffer from depression - while those getting what they described as "enough sleep" were less likely to be depressed and suicidal.
It is important for adolescents and their parents/guardians to know the signs of sleep deprivation due to late bedtimes. Here are a few that came out of our 2006 Sleep in America poll on "Teens and Sleep":
- Your teen is having difficulty in school, or a teacher notices that he/she falls asleep in class periodically
- Your teen is irritable, anxious and gets angry easily on days when he/she gets less sleep
- Your teen runs from one activity to the next – he or she participates in extra-curricular activities, has a job, and stay.
You can also learn more from the following links:
- Questions and answers about teenagers and sleep
- Sleep and Depression
- The study: Earlier Parental Set Bedtimes as a Protective Factor Against Depression and Suicidal Ideation