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Teens with early bedtime less likely to be depressed, suicidal: study

January 7, 2010

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Earlier bedtimes may have a protective effect against depression and suicidal thoughts in adolescents, indicates a study from Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

According to a study abstract, researchers compiled data from more than 15,000 students in grades 7-12 and found that those with bedtimes set at midnight or later were 24 percent more likely to suffer from depression and 20 percent more likely to have suicidal thoughts, compared with those who had a set bedtime of 10 p.m. or earlier. Additionally, teens who reported getting five or fewer hours of sleep per night were 71 percent more likely to suffer depression and 48 percent more likely to be suicidal, compared with those who get eight hours of sleep each night.

A bedtime of midnight or later was reported by a quarter of respondents, while 53 percent reported a weeknight bedtime of 10 p.m. or earlier. The average sleep duration reported among adolescents was approximately eight hours, which is below the American Academy of Sleep Medicine's recommendation of nine or more hours.

The study was published in the Jan. 1 issue of SLEEP.



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