Need For Perfection, Negative Thoughts Keep Teens Awake At Night

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on StudyFinds.

The years between 12 and 20 are a period of self-discovery and self-doubt for the average teen. It’s hard not to compare oneself to others in high school, especially in today’s day and age of Instagram and selfies. Now, a new study conducted at Flinders University finds that teenagers experience insomnia most often due to persistent negative thoughts and a need to achieve perfection.

Making matters worse is the fact that a lack of sleep usually contributes to depression and anxiety symptoms, creating a vicious cycle of comparison, low self-esteem, and negativity.

Close to 400 adolescents between the ages of 14 and 20 took part in this online study, and researchers say their findings validate the theory that there is a link between constant negative thoughts and trouble falling asleep. Perfectionism was found to make this phenomenon even worse.

“Repetitive negative thinking is habit-forming and it can significantly contribute to making sleep difficult and causing depressed mood in teenagers, who already like to stay up late at night,” comments Professor Michael Gradisar, director of the Child and Adolescent Sleep Clinic at Flinders University, in a release. “This study supports the need to recognize repetitive negative thinking in preventing and treating sleep problems, along with individual differences in perfectionism and mood.”

The study was published in Sleep Health.

Source: StudyFinds

Help us reach the next generation of families

Back to Top
[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has over 35 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns and supported by Doug Fields, HomeWord and Azusa Pacific University have partnered to form The HomeWord Center for Youth and Family. Learn More »

  • About Azusa Pacific University

    APU is a leading Christian college ranked as one of the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Located near Los Angeles in Southern California, APU is a Christian university offering associate’s, bachelor’s, master's, doctoral, and degree completion programs, both on campus and online. Learn More »

  • Contact Information

    • HomeWord
      PO Box 1600
      San Juan Capistrano, CA

    • Send us an email

    • 800-397-9725
      (M-F: 8:30am-5pm PST)