After conducting a five year study, researchers found that sleep patterns in children and teens can help to predict risk of developing depression. Sleep is biological factor linked with adult depression.
Depressed adults tend to experience rapid-eye-movement sleep earlier in sleep cycle when compared to those who are not depressed.
The study found that adolescents with a familial depression risk and without a depression diagnosis experienced shorter REM latency, which indicates that they’ve reached the REM stage much earlier.
Those adolescents were more likely to develop depression by the end of the five-year study period than those who reached REM sleep later in the cycle.
“Sleep is probably more helpful in determining who is at risk for developing depression than in being a diagnostic marker for depression since REM latency of those adolescents was shorter before they even developed the illness,”Dr. Uma Rao, professor of psychiatry at UT Southwestern and lead author of the study, said.
Read full report at UT Southwestern Medical Center