Professor Philip Hazell
Mental Health Research Grant (2010)
University of Sydney, NSW
“Sleep, puberty and depression”
“This study will be used to better inform young people about what is going on in their bodies and in their emotions, what is normal and what they should seek help for.”
There is preliminary evidence from studies of adolescents and young adults to suggest that sleep problems precede the onset of depressive episodes by several months. This study was the beginning of a program leading to new approaches to the detection and early intervention of depression in adolescents.
The aim of this study was to use pilot data to inform decisions about a full study. Researchers tested methods for gathering information from adolescents, monitoring the relationship between sleep and mood in puberty. The study did three things:
1. Tested a device called the Actiwatch 2 to capture information about a young person’s weekday and weekend sleep routine;
2. Captured mood information by SMS text every three months; and
3. Gathered urine and blood samples from adolescents to measure hormone levels.
Information from this study will be used to better inform young people about what is going on in their bodies and in their emotions, what is normal and what they should seek help for. It will also help clinicians to detect early manifestations of depression, so they can provide early intervention.
Co-Investigators: Dr Chin Moe Chow, Dr Katherine Steinbeck & Dr Catherine Hawke