News Update: Earlier parental-set bedtimes associated with lower risk of depression, suicidal ideation

January 1, 2010

The next time you encounter a sleepy teen patient, you may want to discuss bedtimes with the patient's parents.

The next time you encounter a sleepy teen patient, you may want to discuss bedtimes with the patient's parents. A new study suggests that patients whose parents set earlier bedtimes are less likely to be depressed or to have suicidal thoughts than patients who go to bed later.

In a study published in the January 2010 issue of the journal Sleep, researchers performed multivariate cross-sectional analyses of data from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). The study sample included 15,659 adolescents in grades 7 through 12. Adolescents who reported parental-set bedtimes of midnight or later had a higher risk of depression (odds ratio [OR], 1.24; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-1.49) and were more likely to have suicidal ideation (OR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.01-1.41) than adolescents with parental-set bedtimes of 10:00 PM or earlier.

The authors suggested that these results point out the importance of appropriate sleep duration in adolescents and the positive effect that earlier parental-set bedtimes can have on adolescent depression.