advertisement
Home » News » Depressed, Sleep-Disturbed Children at Risk

Depressed, Sleep-Disturbed Children at Risk

A study of children with a depressive disorder finds that sleep-disturbed children are more severely depressed and have more depressive symptoms and comorbid anxiety disorders compared with children without a sleep disturbance. Sleep disturbances include insomnia and hypersomnia, or sleep of excessive depth or duration.

The study, authored by Xianchen Liu, MD, PhD, and colleagues of the University of Pittsburgh, was conducted on 553 children with a depressive disorder. Out of this study group, 72.7 percent had sleep disturbance, of which 53.5 percent had insomnia alone, nine percent had hypersomnia alone and 10.1 percent had both disturbances. Depressed girls were more likely to have sleep disturbance than boys, but age had no significant effects.

Furthermore, the study found that across sleep-disturbed children, those with both insomnia and hypersomnia had a longer history of illness, were more severely depressed and were more likely to have anhedonia, weight loss, psychomotor retardation and fatigue than those with either insomnia or hypersomnia.

“We know that depression is associated with sleep problems. But what this study shows is that, in depressed youths, not all sleep problems are the same,” said Liu. “Insomnia is the most common problem, but having a combination of insomnia and sleepiness is ‘double trouble’.

Youths having both of these had more severe depression than youths with just one sleep problem. This means that we should carefully ask depressed youths about the specific type of sleep problem they’re having. It may also mean that we should think about different treatments to specifically target an individual’s sleep problem.”

Experts recommend that grammar school-aged children get between 10-11 hours of sleep a night to achieve good health and optimum performance, while children in pre-school should sleep between 11-13 hours a night.

To ensure the most effective care, parents of sleep-disturbed children are advised to first consult with the child’s pediatrician, who may issue a referral to a sleep specialist for comprehensive testing and treatment.

The study is found in the January 1st issue of the journal SLEEP.

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Depressed, Sleep-Disturbed Children at Risk

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Depressed, Sleep-Disturbed Children at Risk. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 24, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2007/01/03/depressed-sleep-disturbed-children-at-risk/518.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.