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A recent study reveals a concerning link between chronic sleep deprivation in childhood and the heightened risk of developing psychosis during early adulthood. The study, which tracked the sleep patterns of approximately 12,400 children from infancy to age seven, found that those consistently experiencing shorter sleep durations were more than twice as likely to develop psychotic disorders later in life.

Additionally, the study revealed that these children were nearly four times more likely to experience a psychotic episode, characterized by a disconnection from reality and potential hallucinations. Lead author Isabel Morales-Munoz from the University of Birmingham, UK, suggests that while chronic sleep deprivation during childhood may not directly induce psychosis in adulthood, it could serve as a contributing factor. She emphasizes the importance of parental intervention to address this issue early on.

The researchers also said that while previous studies have linked sleep problems with psychosis, this is the first study to show that chronic lack of sleep can be a strong predictor for an individual to experience psychosis. The findings are published in The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) Psychiatry.

“It’s entirely normal for children to suffer from sleep problems at different points in their childhood, but it’s also important to know when it might be time to seek help. Sometimes sleep can become a persistent and chronic problem, and this is where we see links with psychiatric illness in adulthood,” he added.

As an illustration, researchers delved into the immune system health of the children by analyzing inflammation levels in blood samples taken from nine-year-olds. Their findings suggested that a compromised immune system might offer insight into the association between sleep deprivation and psychosis.

 

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If so, please consider scheduling a proper virtual online Sleep Disorder and Anxiety diagnosis with one of our physicians. Although we have an online ADHD and Anxiety diagnosis tool, a proper diagnosis from a Board-Certified Medical Doctor will help you know for sure. If appropriate, a customized treatment program will be recommended at the conclusion of that initial visit.

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