Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Late Hours Lead to Mood Disorders

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Late Hours Lead to Mood Disorders

Article excerpt

Chronic sleep deprivation--which can involve staying up late and waking up early for school or work--has become a way of life for both kids and adults, especially with the increasing use of phones and tablets late into the night. But this social jet lag poses some serious health and mental health risks: New research finds that for teenagers, even a short period of sleep restriction could, over the long-term, raise their risk for depression and addiction.

Researchers invited 35 participants, ages 11.5-15 years, into a sleep lab for two nights. Half the participants slept for 10 hours, while the other half slept only four hours. A week later, they came back to the lab for another two nights and adopted the opposite sleep schedule from their initial visit.

Each time they visited the lab, the participants underwent brain scans while playing a game that involved receiving monetary rewards of $10 and $1. At the end of each visit, the teens answered questions that measured emotional functioning and symptoms of depression.

The researchers found that sleep deprivation affected the putamen, an area of the brain that plays a role in goal-based movements and learning from rewards. …

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