Sleep and its importance in adolescence and in common adolescent somatic and psychiatric conditions
Serge Brand1, Roumen Kirov2
1Depression and Sleep Research Unit, Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; 2Institute of Neurobiology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria
The authors contributed equally to this work
Abstract: Restoring sleep is strongly associated with a better physical, cognitive, and psychological well-being. By contrast, poor or disordered sleep is related to impairment of cognitive and psychological functioning and worsened physical health. These associations are well documented not only in adults but also in children and adolescents. Importantly, adolescence is hallmarked by dramatic maturational changes in sleep and its neurobiological regulation, hormonal status, and many psychosocial and physical processes. Thus, the role of sleep in mental and physical health during adolescence and in adolescent patients is complex. However, it has so far received little attention. This review first presents contemporary views about the complex neurobiology of sleep and its functions with important implications for adolescence. Second, existing complex relationships between common adolescent somatic/organic, sleep-related, and psychiatric disorders and certain sleep alterations are discussed. It is concluded that poor or altered sleep in adolescent patients may trigger and maintain many psychiatric and physical disorders or combinations of these conditions, which presumably hinder recovery and may cross into later stages of life. Therefore, timely diagnosis and management of sleep problems appear critical for growth and development in adolescent patients.
Keywords: cognitive, psychological, neurobiology, growth, development, sleep physiology, rapid eye movement, non-REM sleep, behavioral disorders, adolescents
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