In a new study, teenagers with chronic insomnia had a twofold to fivefold increase in personal problems. Insomnia includes difficulty falling asleep, inability to stay asleep, early morning wakening, or not feeling rested after sleep. Symptoms need to be present for at least four weeks for the diagnosis of insomnia. The study participants with insomnia were more likely to experience problems with drugs, depression, school, jobs, and health perception.
Insomnia among teenagers is common and persistent. In this large study conducted at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, nearly 25% of the adolescents had symptoms of insomnia and 50% of that group had chronic insomnia. The researchers stated that diagnosing and treating insomnia is as important as recognizing other types of psychiatric disorders because of the potential impact it has on the adolescent’s quality of life and future.