Teens who stay up late on weeknights have a higher chance of becoming depressed or suicidal than teens with earlier bedtimes.
That's the conclusion of a new study, which researchers say is the first to examine the effect of bedtimes on kids' mental health.
The study results reported in "USA Today" show middle and high-schoolers whose parents don't require them to be in bed before midnight on school nights are 42-percent more likely to be depressed than teens whose parents require a bedtime of 10 p.m. or earlier.
In addition, teens who are allowed to stay up late are 30-percent more likely to have had suicidal thoughts during the past year.
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center examined surveys from more than 15,000 teens and their parents who participated in a National Institute of Health study.
They found that kids whose parents called for a bedtime of between 9 and 10 p.m. slept an average of eight hours and ten minutes, compared to an average of just seven-and-a-half hours for kids who were allowed to stay up past midnight.
The findings are being presented this week at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Seattle, Washington.
(Copyright 2009 by Newsroom Solutions)