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Sleep Loss Linked to Teen Suicide

Sleep Loss Linked to Teen Suicide

by Kevin Caruso

October 24, 2004

According to a study published in the October 2004 issue of the journal "Sleep," teenagers who do not receive adequate sleep are more prone to suicide than other teens who do received adequate sleep.

Most adults require about eight hours of sleep, but because teens are undergoing physical growth and hormonal changes, they usually require nine hours of sleep.

But most teens fall well short of the necessary nine hours.

Inadequate sleep for teens also affects their concentration, behavior, and performance in school.

Xianchen Liu of Arizona State Univerity's Prevention Research Center authored the study and worked in conjunction with Shandong University School of Public Health in China.

"These findings highlight the potential role of sleep intervention in the prevention of adolescent suicide," said Liu.

The study surveyed 1,362 students from various schools in eastern China.The students responded to questions about how much sleep they received and whether they had suicidal thoughts or had attempted suicide.

Almost 20 percent of the respondents indicated that they had suicidal thoughts during the past six months; and 10.5 percent indicated that they had attempted suicide during the past six months.

The results clearly demonstrated that the students who did not receive enough sleep were more prone to suicide.

Clearly this study raises an important red flag for parents to watch for -- teens who are not receiving enough sleep are at an increased risk for suicide.

And if other suicide warning signs are present, the risk is even greater.

Untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide. So any teen who is suffering from depression (and not receiving treatment) and is not receiving adequate sleep is at a high risk for suicide.

The appropriate preventive actions are quite evident: Depression ALWAYS needs to be treated and teens need to receive adequate sleep.

Knowing what to do and actually doing what is needed are two different things. PLEASE take the appropriate and immediate actions so that you or your teen receives treatment (if it is needed) and adequate sleep.

If you or someone you know is suicidal, please go to the Home Page of this website for immediate help.

Thank you.

I love you.

Take care,

Kevin Caruso

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