Recently, it’s become more clear how much damage not getting enough sleep can cause. Higher risks of depression, anxiety, heart disease, and more have been linked to sleep deprivation. This common teenage issue can wreak havoc on a child’s academic performance, physical health, mental health, and more. While we’re still understanding what causes it, yet another study has shown a strong link between shuteye and teen mood disorders.

Sleep deprived teens common

This is simply a fact–and it’s not hard to believe, either (if you’re the parent of a teen). According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 15 percent of teenagers report getting the minimum amount of sleep. Teens need to get around 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night. This means that more than 4 in 5 teens are walking around, going to school, and driving cars sleep deprived.

It’s not unusual for teens to stay up late and wake up early for school–especially when devices are allowed in bedrooms at night. It’s becoming clear that there are serious consequences of this behavior, though. A lot more than just being moody and falling asleep in class.

Study shows lack of sleep can lead to teen mood disorders

A new study by the University of Pittsburgh looked into the connection between mental health and sleep deprivation. Researchers found that even lack of sleep for a short period of time can increase their risk for teen mood disorders in the long term.

Results revealed that the part of the brain involved in goal-based actions and learning from rewards, the putamen, was less responsive in sleep deprived participants. In other words, they received less reaction from getting rewards. Symptoms of depression were also higher with sleep deprivation.

This study just confirms findings from many, many other studies showing the same results; a strong link between less activity in the brain’s reward system and mood disorders exists.

Overall, it’s clear that sleep is essential to mental health. If you believe your daughter may be struggling with a mental health issue, don’t wait. It’s critical to reach out to a professional for early treatment.

Solstice East is here to help your daughter

Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. We understand the specific needs of girls, which is why we centered our program on them. At Solstice, we offer our students help for anxiety, depression, teen mood disorders, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems.

We have a strong emphasis on family therapy, nutrition, physical fitness. We also offer a supportive staff, cutting-edge academics, addiction therapy, equine therapy, and psychiatric services. At Solstice, we help set the stage for the infusion of light into the previously darkened lives of the families we serve.

For more information about how we help with teen mood disorders at Solstice East, please contact us at 828-484-9946.