The age of social networking sites and the internet is upon us and with so much to do on the World Wide Web, many teenagers are opting to spend their bedtime chatting, networking, shopping and delving into the far corners of the internet.
However, extensive research has now found that teens who are allowing themselves to become deprived of sleep in order to surf the web are far more likely to develop a mental illness later in life than those who get a proper night’s shut eye.
The study involved around 20,000 people between the ages of 17 and 24 and found that those participants who slept fewer then five hours a night were three times more likely than normal sleepers to develop a psychological disorder in the next year. For every hour of sleep lost there was a 14 per cent increased risk of distress.
Professor Nicholas Glozie who lead the study has said he believes that insomnia and sleep disturbances are predictors of the development of depression and anxiety later on in life.
He said: ‘Large numbers of my patients are on Facebook or the internet or massive multiplayer games until one or two in the morning but are having to get up at 7am’.
If you are concerned about sleep deprivation and or symptoms of anxiety and depression then it is important you visit your GP who will be able to give you appropriate advice and support. You may also find it helpful to discuss these issues with a counsellor in confidence. To find out more information on the different areas in which counselling could help please browse the Types of Distress section of this site and to contact a counsellor in your local area please use the search tool located on the homepage.