Sleep: Why is it Important for Teens’ Mental Health in Their Future Lives


  • Claudia Hammond
  • BBC

Sleeping young man

Photo released, Westend61/Zerocreatives/Getty Images

Teens can sometimes find it difficult to wake up in the morning, but ensuring they get enough sleep may be vital to their health later in life.

It’s late in the morning and teens at home are still falling asleep long after you wake up. Should you run upstairs to drag them out of the bed? That may be tempting, but the answer is probably no. Evidence is mounting that sleep in adolescence is important for both present and future mental health.

It should come as no surprise that a lack of sleep or seriously disturbed sleep is one of the most common symptoms of depression among teens. Despite all of this, no matter how sleepy you feel, it is difficult to fall asleep if doubts or worries haunt you. This applies to adults as well, with 92 percent of people suffering from depression complaining of difficulty sleeping.

Perhaps the least anticipated is that some problems with sleep may start before depression, increasing the risk of mental health problems in the future. Does this mean that teen sleep should be taken more seriously? And can it reduce the risk of depression at a later time?


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