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Sue Hubbard, M.D.
A new study confirms something pediatricians and parents already suspected: One key to having happy, healthy and less depressed children is to have earlier bedtimes.
The study was conducted by researchers at
Another study published in the
The researchers surveyed 15,000 children in grades 7-12 and their parents and found that more than two-thirds of the adolescents said they went to bed when they were supposed to. For 54 percent of kids, that's
The teens were also asked to fill out depression questionnaires and were asked whether they'd seriously thought about suicide over the past year.
Scientists have long known that there was a link between depression and poor sleep. But there has always been a question as to whether the depression caused insomnia or whether poor sleep led to depression. The fact that parent-enforced bedtimes play such a significant role suggests lack of sleep may actually be a cause, not just an effect of depression.
As you know, I believe it's critical for all teens to have a firm bedtime. Begin winding down their night by turning off all electronics 1/2 hour before they head to bed. There should be no TV on in the background and cell phones should be charging on the family docking station in the kitchen.
Tuck your teen in tonight at a reasonable hour. It's good for both parent and teen.
Dr. Sue Hubbard is a nationally known pediatrician and co-host of "The Kid's Doctor" radio show.
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Health - Earlier Bedtimes May Fend Off Teen Depression