The following is excerpted from an online article posted by Medical Dialogues.
Sleep problems in childhood and adolescence are highly correlated with psychopathological symptoms, according to a recent cohort study published in JAMA Psychiatry.
Sleep problems have been shown to have a significant impact on youth mental health, both in terms of the emergence and exacerbation of internalizing and externalizing symptoms. The study aimed to investigate individual changes in sleep issue profiles and their predicted relationships with psychopathology symptoms as children progress into adolescence.
The study involved 10,313 individuals aged 9 to 11 years at baseline and followed up at ages 11 to 13 years.
The study found that individuals with disrupted sleep profiles displayed a greater risk of concurrent internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Changes in sleep problems across the transition to adolescence were associated with later internalizing and externalizing symptoms.
“Our study highlights the importance of sleep for mental health and suggests that targeting sleep problems in early adolescence may be a key strategy for preventing later mental health problems,” said the lead author of the study, Dr. Rebecca Cooper.