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Teenage lack of sleep linked to depression

05-01-2010

Teenagers who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to suffer from depression, reports the Sleep Journal. Using data from a wide-scale study of 12 to 18 year olds in New York during the 1990’s, researchers at Columbia Medical Center found that participants who regularly went to bed after midnight were 24% more likely to develop depression compared to those who had a bedtime of before 10pm. In addition, of the 15,500 youngsters studied, those who slept less than 5 hours a night faced a 71% higher risk of suffering the condition compared to those who got the advised 8 hours. Overall, 1 in 15 participants in the study had depression.

Researchers claim that the connection between lack of sleep and mental conditions such as depression is based on emotional brain responses and a reduced capacity for judgment and concentration.

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