Fears about a possible nuclear war and environmental destruction are waning among teenagers across Europe. Money troubles had kept most teenagers awake at night.
According to a 28-year study, teenagers from the 80s said the issues that kept them awake at night included climate change and the threat of global conflict. Today, 92% of teenagers are troubled about money, personal accidents, bullying and terrorist attacks. This is in stark contrast to the nuclear threat and environmental destruction worries from more than two decades ago.
Lead author Dr Nanette Danielsson, of Karlstad University in Sweden, said:
“Many adolescents have sleep disturbances, and this is associated with adverse consequences.
“Sleep disturbance was strongly associated with worry for the family’s financial situation, followed by worry about illness or accidents.
“Relationships between sleep disturbance and worry for environmental destruction and nuclear war were weaker.
“Concerns closely tied to one’s personal life, as well as current political threats, may have stronger associations with sleep disturbance than global threats due to a closer proximity to one’s own life situation.”
Between 1988 and 2011, more than 20,000 Swedish teenagers were asked to complete a questionnaire about living conditions and their health. Sleep disturbance was reported by 24 per cent of girls and 16 per cent of boys.