Tag Archives: sleep

Sleep Problems: Teen Depression, Adult Male Mortality Risk

Forbes published an article today entitled “Early Bedtime May Help Stave Off Teen Depression.”

It discusses recent research on teens and sleep by James Gangwisch of Columbia University Medical Center.

The study found that “Teens whose parents insist on 10 p.m. or sooner for lights out were 25 percent less likely to be depressed and 20 percent less likely to have suicidal thoughts, compared with kids who hit the sack at midnight or later.”

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) has a fact sheet about teens and sleep on their website. They suggest that “Teens need about 9 1/4 hours of sleep each night to function best (for some, 8 1/2 hours is enough). Most teens do not get enough sleep — one study found that only 15% reported sleeping 8 1/2 hours on school nights.”

The NSF conducted a poll in 2006  and found that “73% of those adolescents who report feeling unhappy, sad, or depressed also report not getting enough sleep at night and being excessively sleepy during the day.”

The NSF also finds that sleep and depression have a reciprocal relationship. “Research shows that lack of sleep affects mood, and a depressed mood can lead to lack of sleep. To combat this vicious cycle, sleep experts recommend that teens prioritize sleep and focus on healthy sleep habits. Teens can start by getting the 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep they need each night, keeping consistent sleep and wake schedules on school nights and weekends, and opting for relaxing activities such as reading or taking a warm shower or bath before bed instead of turning on the TV or computer.”

The article also has an extensive list of pointers to help improve sleep hygiene.

On another front, Science Daily highlights another study today. Their article has a self-explanatory title: Insomnia With Objective Short Sleep Duration In Men Is Associated With Increased Mortality.

They write that “men with insomnia and sleep duration of six or fewer hours of nightly sleep are at an increased risk for mortality…men with insomnia and less than six hours of nightly sleep were at highest risk of mortality.”

This is based on a study conducted in Pennsylvania over the course of fourteen years.

So ask the teens and men in your life: “Got Sleep?”

Are Sleep Problems Symptoms or Causes of Emotional Disorders

sleeping like a dog
In a thought provoking article, Sleep study at Pitt is a researcher’s dream job, in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the role of sleep in mental health is explored.

Some of the many interesting points from the interview of Dr. Anne Germain are:

  • “…there is growing evidence that sleep problems are actually the cause of many psychological and physical illnesses, rather than a side effect of them.”
  • “‘Whether we’re dealing with depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, when we target sleep problems, we can have a significant improvement in people’s daytime functioning,’ she said.”
  • There are ” two effective therapies available to reduce or eliminate nightmares….
    One is an older high blood pressure medication called prazosin.
    [The other is] imagery rehearsal therapy, it provides ways for people to rewrite their nightmares into less threatening dreams, and it is effective in more than 90 percent of people who have tried it…”
  • And, of course, “the vast majority of people need between 6 1/2 and 8 hours of sleep a night to function well.”