Some teens might resent their parents for enforcing a bed time, but a recent study shows that kids who get to bed by 10 on a week night are less likely to become depressed or have suicidal thoughts.
“This study bolsters the argument that a lack of sleep can cause depression,” said study author James Gangwisch, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.
The National Institutes of Health study, released on June 9 at the National Sleep Conference in Seattle, states that sleep and depression can go hand in hand.
The study also takes a new spin on the sleeping habits of teens, including the effects of sleeping too much and too little. The data is based on the observation of 15,000 teens, 1,143 of whom had depression, and 2,038 of whom had suicidal thoughts.
Bryan Carmona, 18, of Sunrise, said in a Facebook interview that he does have a bed time and that it probably has helped him in the long run.
Carmona said he understands that having adequate sleep is important if he has to wake up early for school every day; otherwise the days would seem longer and more things would seem to go wrong.
“Depression comes with the territory [of a] crappy day,” he said.
There is another side, according to the study. Some people who sleep too much suffer from depression, and have a hard time getting out of bed. In this case, too much sleep can be just as detrimental as too little, the study says.
The study concludes that one way to help teens reach a happy medium where they get just enough sleep is for parents to enforce a curfew of 10 p.m., since it is unlikely that school districts will implement a later school start time.