Babies who have sleep problems are more likely to have mental health problems as adolescents, a new study suggests.
Children who often woke up in the middle of the night at 18 months and 30 months old were more likely to experience psychosis at ages 11 and 12.
In addition, adolescents with irregular sleep habits at six months and 30 months of age were also more likely to have signs of borderline personality disorder as young children.
The University of Birmingham team in the UK say the findings are the first to directly relate early childhood sleep problems and mental disorders.
A new study from the University of Birmingham found that children who often woke up in the middle of the night at age 18 were more likely to experience psychosis (file image)
“We know from previous research that persistent nightmares in children have been linked to both psychosis and borderline personality disorder,” said lead author Dr. Isabel Morales-Munoz, a research fellow at the Institute of Mental Health at the University of Birmingham. CNN.
For the study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, the team looked at data from the Children of the 90s study, which enrolled over 14,000 pregnant women in the UK in 1991 and 1992.
Researchers looked at the sleeping behavior of babies aged six, 18 and 30 months. They were then studied at ages 3.5, 4.8 and 5.8.
Data were available from more than 7,155 participants who reported psychotic experiences between the ages of 12 and 13 and 6,333 who reported symptoms of BPD from 11 to 12 years.
Psychotic episodes, also known as psychosis, occur when a person perceives or interprets reality differently from those around him.
Sufferers may experience hallucinations, delusions, or being unable to think and speak clearly.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) includes problems with self-image, problems with dealing with emotions and behavior, and a pattern of unstable relationships.
Researchers found that irregular sleep routines at the age of six months, 30 months, or 5.8 years were associated with psychotic experiences as pre-teens.
Not sleeping long at night at age three and a half was fond of BPD symptoms at ages 11 to 12.
The team tried to take into account a number of factors, such as childhood sexual abuse or adverse experiences such as living with someone who was mentally ill or living with someone who abused alcohol or drugs.
The results showed that a diagnosis of depression at the age of 10 could partially explain the associations between specific sleep problems and psychotic symptoms.
However, it could not explain the link between problems and BPD.
“The findings suggest that some behavioral sleep problems in childhood are distinctly related to the onset of psychosis and BPD in adolescence,” the authors wrote.
In addition, depression at the age of 10 can only mediate the association with psychosis. These findings contribute to the design of more personalized interventions for psychosis and BPD. ‘
A 2019 report from the American Academy of Pediatrics found that only 48 percent get nine hours of sleep each night that the group recommends.
Those who did get between nine and eleven o’clock cared much more about how well they did in school, did their homework, and were interested in learning new things.
Meanwhile, children who did not get enough sleep were at increased risk of depression and obesity and of poor academic performance.
Therefore, suffering from sleep problems early in life can increase not only the risk of mental disorders, but also other problems.
“It is crucial to identify risk factors that may increase adolescents’ vulnerability to the development of these conditions, identify those at high risk and implement effective interventions,” writes senior author Dr. Steven Marwaha, professor of psychiatry at the University from Birmingham in the UK, CNN said.
“This study helps us understand this process, and what the goals could be.”