Loneliness And Depression In Teens Linked To Lack Of Sleep And Early School Start Times

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by Forbes.

Teenagers who wake up early for school, sleep less than eight hours per night or spend time on their electronic devices within an hour of going to bed are more likely to have experienced depression and loneliness, results of a new National Sleep Foundation survey showed.

Fewer than two out of every 10 of the more than 1,100 American teenagers surveyed reported they get the recommended amount of sleep per night.

Among those who don’t get enough sleep were those who start school before the foundation-recommended time of 8:30 a.m.; seven out of 10 students said they start school earlier and those who do have higher levels of depressive symptoms than their peers.

Those who have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep also had their mental health negatively impacted: those who found it hard to fall asleep one or fewer nights per week were less likely to be depressed than those who struggled two or more nights.

The National Sleep Foundation asked teenagers to report their nighttime sleep behaviors and assigned grades based on how well they prioritized healthy rest. The behaviors include avoiding substances before bed (64% of respondents say they practice the habit daily), sleeping in a quiet, cool and dark environment (62%), keeping a consistent bedtime (27%) and avoiding electronic devices before bed, which only 9% of teenagers said they do daily. Depressive symptoms were reported much less by those who scored an A or B grade on the assessment of sleep-promoting behaviors (5% of high scoring respondents) than those who scored an F (19%).

Source: Forbes

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 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 Crosswalk.com and Religiontoday.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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