Lack of sleep can lead to depressive disorders in kids
A new study suggests children who don’t receive adequate sleep are at risk for mental health issues, and researchers wanted to investigate a possible connection in preschool children and mental disorders related to sleep.
The Norweigan study looked at 1,000 toddlers who had their regular checkups at 4 years old and interviewed parents two years later about their child’s sleep patterns. They found that children who suffered insomnia had an increased risk for major depressive disorders, social phobia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Insomnia was diagnosed in nearly 17 percent of the children at age 4, and in 43 percent at age 6.
“Lack of sleep for a child in preschool and kindergarten will make them irritable, cranky and could have the ability to affect brain development,” says Dr. Naresh Upadhyay, pulmonologist at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago. “If you deprive your brain of sleep, then it will be hard for you to concentrate at school, and it will have definite physical and psychological consequences such as mood swings.”
Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends preschool-aged children sleep 11 to 12 hours a day.
“While everyone needs good sleep, children need more than adults,” Dr. Upadhyay says.
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.