Teen Insomnia



Teens with insomnia lose more than sleep

Insomnia in teens costs them more than sleep -- it can harm adolescents physically, psychologically and in interpersonal relations, a U.S. study found.

Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston have completed what they describe as the first prospective study demonstrating the negative impact of chronic insomnia on teens ages 11 to 17. Many teen did not have good sleeping habits.

Lead author Robert E. Roberts said more than one-fourth of the youths surveyed had one or more symptoms of insomnia and almost half of those youngsters had chronic conditions.

The findings are based on interviews of one to two hours with 3,134 adolescents in metropolitan Houston, part of Teen Health 2000 -- a community-based, prospective study of the epidemiology of psychiatric disorders among adolescents that involved a structured psychiatric interview.

The study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found adolescents with chronic insomnia were much more likely to have problems with drug use, depression, school work, jobs and perceived health.

"Almost half of the adolescents who reported one or more symptoms of insomnia during the initial screening had similar issues a year later," Roberts said in a statement. "Twenty-four percent met the symptom criteria for chronic insomnia as defined by the American Psychiatric Association -- insomnia is considered a psychiatric disorder."


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