Insomniac teenagers are at risk of suffering anxiety and depression, a new study reveals. People suffering from insomnia find it difficult to fall asleep or to stay asleep as long as desired. This results in sleep deprivation and might lead to various health issues.
According to the scientists, insomnia, depression and anxiety disorders are linked with each other, and these disorders contain overlapping psychological, neurobiological and social risk factors.
The study was conducted on more than 300 high school students aged between 12 and 18. Researchers interviewed them and collected details about their sleeping habits, mental health status and daytime activity levels, mainly when they were most active and energetic.
Researchers also discovered that teenagers who were more active during the evenings had more chances of suffering depression and insomnia.
Alvaro Pasquale, lead study author and a PhD student at School of Psychology, University of Adelaide in Australia, said that this particular set of teens was also at risk of developing obsessive-compulsive disorder, separation anxiety and social phobia.
"These findings state that the 'eveningness' chronotype - being more active and alert in the evenings - is an independent risk factor for insomnia and depression. This is important because adolescents tend to develop a preference for evenings, which sometimes becomes a syndrome whereby they keep delaying going to sleep," Alvaro said.
He further said that the prevention and treatment efforts for insomnia and depression should consider this combination of mental health, sleep, and the eveningness chronotype, along with the present mainstream behavioral approaches.
"Prevention and treatment efforts for anxiety subtypes should also consider focusing on insomnia and depression," Alvaro added.
The study, 'The independent relationships between insomnia, depression, subtypes of anxiety, and chronotype during adolescence,' was published in the journal Sleep Medicine.