Sleep Disorders

13 June 2008

Insomniac parents=suicidal kids

A history of chronic insomnia in parents is not only associated with elevated risk for insomnia, but also with elevated risks for suicidal behaviour in adolescent offspring.

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A history of chronic insomnia in parents is not only associated with elevated risk for insomnia, but also with elevated risks for use of hypnotics, psychopathology and suicidal behaviour in adolescent offspring, according to a new research.

The study, authored by Xianchen Liu, MD, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh, focused on 798 teenagers (450 boys and 348 girls), with an average age of 14.4 years, who completed a sleep and health questionnaire.

According to the results, compared with adolescents of parents without insomnia, participants of insomnia parents were more than twice more likely to report insomnia, daytime fatigue, and use of hypnotics. Adolescents of insomnia parents were also more likely to have depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation and suicide attempts during the past year.

“These results suggest that a history of chronic insomnia in parents is not only associated with elevated risk for insomnia, but also with elevated risks for a wide range of mental health problems, substance use, and suicidal behaviour in adolescent offspring,” said Dr Liu. “Family sleep interventions may be important to enhance sleep quality and decrease risks for sleep disturbance, psychopathology and suicidal behaviour in adolescents.

"Further studies are warranted to examine how and the extent to which genetic and environmental factors interact in determining sleep disturbances and psychopathology among adolescents.”

Insomnia is a classification of sleep disorders in which a person has trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up too early. It is the most commonly reported sleep disorder.

It is recommended that adolescents get nine hours of nightly sleep. – (EurekAlert!)

Read more:
Bad sleep tied to suicide

June 2008

 

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Dr Alison Bentley is a general practitioner who has consulted in sleep medicine and sleep disorders, in both adults and children of all ages, for almost 30 years. She also researches and publishes on a number of sleep-related topics both in formal research journals and lay publications including as editor of Sleep Matters, an educational newsletter on sleep disorders for doctors.

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