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BMC Psychiatry. 2014 Feb 8;14:33. doi: 10.1186/1471-244X-14-33.

Delayed sleep onset in depressed young people.

Author information

1
Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. nick.glozier@sydney.edu.au.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The circadian abnormality of delayed sleep phase has been suggested to characterise a subgroup of depressed young adults with different risk factors and course of illness. We aim to assess the prevalence and factors, particularly substance use, associated with such delay in a large help-seeking cohort of young people with mental health problems.

METHODS:

From a consecutively recruited sample of 802 help-seeking young people, 305 (38%) had at least moderate depressive symptoms (QIDS-C16 >10), sleep data and did not have a chronic severe mental illness. Demographic and clinical characteristics were evaluated through self report and clinical interview. Delayed sleep phase was defined as a sleep onset between the hours of 02:00 a.m. - 06:00 a.m. and the characteristics of this group were compared to normal phase sleepers.

RESULTS:

Delayed sleep onset was reported amongst 18% (n = 56/305) of the depressed group compared to 11% of the non-depressed young people. Amongst the depressed group, delayed sleep onset was associated with tobacco, alcohol and cannabis misuse and short sleep duration (x̅: 5.8 hrs vs. x̅: 7.8 hrs). There were no differences in demographic factors, personality traits or symptoms. Tobacco smoking was very common: In logistic regression analyses only tobacco use (OR 2.28, 95% CI: 1.04 - 5.01) was associated with delayed sleep onset. There was no interaction with age.

CONCLUSIONS:

Delayed sleep onset was twice as common in depressed young people as the general population and young people with other mental health problems, and is a potential marker for a subgroup of mood disorders. Those with delayed sleep onset were not more severely depressed but had short sleep duration, a risk for chronic psychological ill health, and higher levels of tobacco use. Nicotine use was common in this group, has biological evidence as a sleep disrupter, and requires specifically addressing in this population.

PMID:
24506941
PMCID:
PMC3938136
DOI:
10.1186/1471-244X-14-33
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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