"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Romance and breakups can disrupt teens' sleep, research shows

October 3, 2023 – Starting a romantic relationship or breaking up can negatively impact adolescents’ sleep patterns, in keeping with a brand new study.

Researchers on the University of Pennsylvania examined 7,000 Chinese students who were in seventh, eighth or tenth grade in the beginning of the study. The teens filled out questionnaires about their romantic experiences over the past 12 months and their sleeping habits.

The study was published in Behavioral sleep medicine.

The researchers also checked out the teenagers' age, gender, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, family socioeconomic status, parental marital status and depressive symptoms.

The researchers found that insomnia increased by 41% amongst teens in the event that they had began a relationship; a 35% increase in the event that they had broken up; and a forty five% increase in the event that they had had each within the previous 12 months.

A 12 months later, the young people were interviewed again.

“When the adolescents were re-examined a year later, it was found that those who had entered into a relationship were 61% more likely to develop new insomnia symptoms, and those who had experienced a breakup were 61% more likely to develop new insomnia symptoms 43% higher was symptoms,” PsyPost reported.

The researchers found that romantic relationships affected sleep quality and quantity within the short term and a 12 months later. Stress, hormones and psychosocial development may play a job.

Children under 15 apparently had a harder time. And girls too.

“It is particularly important that the results are viewed through the lens of traditional Chinese culture. Relationship formation in adolescence deviates from societal norms, and therefore the stress of entering or ending a relationship can be increased, which in turn can lead to increased sleep problems,” wrote PsyPost.

The study authors said more research is required to seek out out whether that is true in other cultures.

“The results suggest that SRR and breakups are associated with insomnia symptoms and short sleep duration, highlighting the importance of education about romantic relationships and managing romantic stress for healthy sleep, especially among early pubertal girls,” the authors write.