The prospective association between sleep deprivation and depression among adolescents

Sleep. 2014 Feb 1;37(2):239-44. doi: 10.5665/sleep.3388.


Study objectives: To examine the prospective, reciprocal association between sleep deprivation and depression among adolescents.

Design: A community-based two-wave cohort study.

Setting: A metropolitan area with a population of over 4 million.

Participants: 4,175 youths 11-17 at baseline, and 3,134 of these followed up a year later.

Measurements: Depression is measured using both symptoms of depression and DSM-IV major depression. Sleep deprivation is defined as ≤ 6 h of sleep per night.

Results: Sleep deprivation at baseline predicted both measures of depression at follow-up, controlling for depression at baseline. Examining the reciprocal association, major depression at baseline, but not symptoms predicted sleep deprivation at follow-up.

Conclusion: These results are the first to document reciprocal effects for major depression and sleep deprivation among adolescents using prospective data. The data suggest reduced quantity of sleep increases risk for major depression, which in turn increases risk for decreased sleep.

Keywords: Depression; adolescents; epidemiology; sleep deprivation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depression / complications*
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / complications
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Deprivation / complications*
  • Sleep Deprivation / psychology*
  • Texas