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Early Bedtime May Help Stave Off Teen Depression
Date:6/9/2009

Extra sleep quells suicidal thoughts as well, study finds

TUESDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Teens whose parents pack them off to bed at 10 p.m. are less apt to become depressed or have suicidal thoughts than their peers who stay up much later, recent research shows.

"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. "Teens with earlier parental-mandated bedtimes were less likely to suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts."

Gangwisch was to present the findings Tuesday at the Associated Professional Sleep Societies annual meeting, in Seattle.

The study stemmed from data on more than 15,000 adolescents who participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.

The researchers found that 1,143 of the teens were depressed and 2,038 had suicidal ideation, the term clinicians use to describe suicidal thinking. Dr. Jonathan Pletcher, an adolescent medicine specialist from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, pointed out that suicidal thoughts are common in teenagers, which is why the study included more teens with suicidal thoughts than depressed adolescents.

"A lot of teens have suicidal thoughts, but there's a big difference between suicidal ideation and being suicidal," Pletcher said.

When Gangwisch and his research team looked at the relationship of depression and suicidal thoughts to parental-mandated bedtimes, they found a clear correlation.

Teens whose parents insist on 10 p.m. or sooner for lights out were 25 percent less likely to be depressed and 20 percent less likely to have suicidal thoughts, compared with kids who hit the sack at midnight or later.

Gangwisch said he adjusted the data to account for numerous factors, including parental connectedness and the age of the teens, becau
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