Teenager Sleep Can Predict Mental Health Issues

We all know (or have been) teenagers who like to stay up late and sleep until noon.  New research indicates, however, the number of hours a teen sleeps, and at what times, could help parents and doctors determine if they are at risk of developing depression, bipolar disorder or psychosis.

From today’s Sydney Morning Herald newspaper:

Most people with mood disorders experience disrupted sleep patterns years, weeks or days before the onset of symptoms. Others who have already been diagnosed will start to have problems sleeping just before they have a relapse.

”We know that teenagers have disrupted circadian rhythms and sleep-wake patterns. It’s part of the maturation of the brain,” said Naomi Rogers, the director of the chronobiology and sleep unit at the institute.

”But in people with mood disorders, the sleeping becomes even more unstable.”

Her research, to be presented today at the Australasian Sleep Conference being held in Christchurch, could help doctors intervene before a mood disorder becomes full blown.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald