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An Australian study found that sleep deprivation can lead to depression, anger, and a loss of energy.

Flinders University asked 34 teenagers aged 15-17 to spend a total of ten days and nine nights at a sleep center.

They were assigned to one of three sleeping 'doses' over five nights - either 5, 7.5 or 10 hours per night. There were two baseline nights and two recovery nights that lasted up to 10 hours each.

The mood of the participants was assessed every three hours after they woke up.

The study used unipolar visual analog scales to measure mood states.
  • Participants in the 5-hour group but not the 10-hour or 7.5-hour groups reported feeling significantly depressed, angry and confused while they were sleeping restriction.

  • After five hours of sleep, the amount of happiness and energy that was lost is significantly lower

  • Participants who had 10 hour sleep options were happier

  • Fear and anxiety were not statistically significant, but small-to-moderate effects of sleep restrictions of five to 7.5 hours were observed.
Dr Michelle Short, a Flinders University researcher, says that although the recovery was for positive moods, it wasn't enough to overcome increased negative mood states in the group over the two-night period.

"Given the prevalence of insufficient sleep and the rising incidence of mood disorders and dysregulation in adolescents, our findings highlight the importance of sufficient sleep to mitigate these risks."

The article, Sleep duration, mood, and adolescents: An experimental study (2021), by SA Booth (CQU), MA Carskadon(US), R Young, and MA ShortSleep, Volume 44 Issue 5, May 2021

Adolescence is an important stage of maturation in terms of increased risk of developing mood disorders. Researchers stress the importance of getting enough sleep to prevent mood problems in otherwise healthy teenagers.

Results from the experimentally manipulated sleep duration and mood study show that adolescents experience a decline in their moods in terms happiness, depression, anger, confusion, and energy.

Mixed models analyses were used to analyze the relationship between experimentally manipulated sleep duration and mood in adolescents. Adhoc comparisons were made.