Link found between depression and sleep disturbances in children

March 1, 2007

According to a recent study, insomnia and hypersomnia are conditions that can be associated with childhood depression, and they deserve clinical attention.

According to a recent study, insomnia and hypersomnia are conditions that can be associated with childhood depression, and they deserve clinical attention.

Researchers studied 553 children, who ranged in age from 7-14 years, with a current depressive disorder. They found that 73% showed signs of either insomnia or hypersomnia, 54% had insomnia alone, 9% had hypersomnia alone, and 10% suffered from both (Liu et al: Sleep 2007;30:83).

The findings also indicated that children with both insomnia and hypersomnia were most severely depressed, and those with either insomnia or hypersomnia were more depressed than those without either sleep disturbance.

The scientists concluded that not all sleep problems are the same in depressed children, so physicians need to carefully assess a patient's specific type of disturbance and target treatment toward it.