In a study of adolescents, the benefits of cognitive-behavioral sleep interventions were greatest among individuals with higher levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms. The results, which are published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry were consistent across genders.
“We know there is a strong link between emotional problems, like anxiety and depression, and sleep problems. In the past some researchers and clinicians have thought that these emotional problems might interfere with sleep improvement treatments, but our results with adolescents show that the opposite is the case,” says senior author Nicholas Allen, PhD, of the University of Oregon, in a release. “Those with higher levels of emotional problems were actually more likely to benefit from sleep interventions. This opens up new opportunities to use sleep improvement as a way to address mental health.”