Poor Sleep Leads to Teen Depression

depressed teenage boy stock art

Teenagers who have nagging negative thoughts coupled with perfectionism have trouble sleeping, which raises their chances of becoming depressed and anxious, according to a study conducted by researchers at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia.

In the study, researchers surveyed 393 adolescents between the ages of 14 and 20, asking about difficulties with falling asleep, repetitive negative thinking, perfectionism and depressed mood.

Michael Gradisar, director of the Child and Adolescent Sleep Clinic at the university, said the study confirmed a link between those with negative thoughts and delayed sleep. Those with perfectionism had an even tougher time falling asleep. 

“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,” Gradisar said in a March 18 news 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.”

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