Depression in adolescents, a problem 1 in 5 teens experiences before age 18, could be reduced or even prevented by something relatively simple yet often ignored by late-night tweeting or texting teens - sleep.

Few teenagers get the recommended nine hours of nightly sleep for people their age, staying up well past a reasonable bedtime e-mailing, e-chatting or doing homework. And in the morning, they can be groggy, cranky and distracted.

If sleep deprivation becomes chronic, however, depression can result, UC Berkeley researchers say.

This is new thinking.

In the past, the general view was that sleep disturbances were a by-product of depression. Now research is pointing to a lack of sleep as a cause, said Allison Harvey, a clinical psychologist at UC Berkeley.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2009/11/13/MN1E1AFT5P.DTL