Gay Teenagers Are More Than Twice As Likely To Suffer From Insomnia – study
Gay teenagers are more than twice as likely to have trouble sleeping compared to their straight peers, a study suggests.
Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, surveyed 8,500 youngsters — including 374 gay teenagers — on how they slept.
Some 35 percent of those in the LGBT group said they struggled to fall asleep or stay asleep over the past two weeks.
But among youngsters who said they were straight, only 13.5 percent reported the same issues.
The researchers theorize that LGBT youths are kept up at night because of discrimination, bullying and conflicts at home.
Adolescence is a time of sleep trouble because the body’s circadian rhythm — or internal clock — shifts backward by a few hours.
Scientists say this likely happens to help teenagers learn independence, by allowing them to be awake while their parents are asleep.
But in today’s modern world, with early school start times and demanding homework schedules, the shift ends up disrupting youngsters’ sleep.
Teenagers need about eight to ten hours sleep per night — up to three hours more than adults — which nearly three in four fail to achieve consistently.
Previous research has already pointed to sleep issues among sexual minorities.
But the scientists believe that their paper is the first to pinpoint it among LGBT youths.