Sleep deprivation may trigger serious mental illnesses in young people that persist into adulthood, researchers in Australia found.
Young adults ages 17 to 24 who habitually sleep fewer than five hours a night are three times more likely to develop psychiatric disorders than those who get eight to nine hours of shut-eye, according to the research published yesterday in the journal, Sleep.
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The study is the first to look at the link between sleep and mental illness in young people and highlights the need for early intervention to avoid lifelong problems, said Nick Glozier, a psychology professor at the University of Sydney, who led the research. The findings build on earlier studies that show sleep deprivation can lead to health conditions including heart diseases, high blood pressure and weight gain.