UC Berkeley LogoSeveral studies, over decades have illustrated that sleep deprivation could result in poor academic performance, absenteeism and bigger dropout rates, particularly for those inclined to depression.

To deal with this disturbing trend, the Sleep and Psychological Disorders Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley along with Kaiser Permanente, Oregon has apparently started enlisting middle and high school students for a study to observe if depression could ease if they get sufficient sleep. This assumption was verified in a preceding study of adults with insomnia and depression, and experts anticipated to view comparable outcomes in teens. Experts are of the opinion that teens ought to strive to get at least nine hours of sleep a night. Presently, seven hours a night is seen in 13-19-year-olds.

In a 1988 survey of 10th and 12th graders, around 45 percent accounted to retiring to bed post midnight on school nights. Experts anticipate that percentage could have increased considerably as of today. A recent study in Taiwan illustrated that teenagers suffering from psycho-social disorders, counting depression, are apparently more liable to get addicted to the Internet.

Clinical psychologist Allison Harvey, who directs the UC Berkeley portion of the sleep study, commented, “Our hypothesis is that insomnia is not just a symptom or byproduct of depression, but that in many patients it contributes to the onset and/or maintenance of depression. Thus, we want to see if the direct treatment of a sleep disorder, together with a depression treatment, improves depression outcomes.”

Around 60 teenagers who have been detected with or are at danger for depression are being enrolled for the UC Berkeley-Kaiser study, with half being treated at UC Berkeley and the other half at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland. Ore. Greg Clarke is the senior author in the Oregon study. Teenagers would self-report about their sleep habits and would be given a dozen weekly sittings of cognitive behavior therapy dealing with their sleep and mood patterns.

Harvey mentioned that cognitive behavior therapy, which tries to alter negative thinking and behavior, is apparently preferable to drug therapy, particularly in children and teenagers, since the influence of medications on the growing body and brain have not been sufficiently examined.

Sleep is apparently extremely important for an extensive variety of mental, emotional, behavioral and physical health results, counting metabolic regulation, obesity, cardiovascular health and immune function. Lack of sleep could result in mental and physical health issues. Following a sleepless night, young and older adults have more chances to become lazy and the odds for them to indulge in physical and intellectual activities are apparently less.

Supposedly sleep comprises of 5 stages through the night. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is required to process the day’s emotional experiences and to control the brain, while non-REM sleep could be needed for the development and mending of brain cells and neurological connections and for memory and information maintenance. In children and adolescents, the growth hormone is apparently discharged during sleep. This gets disturbed if the individual is not getting enough sleep.

The National Institute of Mental Health is funding both the teen and the adult studies.