Objective: Sleep problems are a cardinal symptom of depression in children and adolescents and caffeine use is a prevalent and problematic issue in youth; yet little is known about caffeine use and its effects on sleep in youth with depression. We examined caffeine use and its relation to sleep and affect in youth's natural environments. Methods: Thirty youth with major depressive disorder (MDD) and 23 control youth reported on caffeine use, sleep, and affect in their natural environment using ecological momentary assessment at baseline and over 8 weeks, while MDD youth received treatment. Results: Youth with MDD reported more caffeine use and sleep problems relative to healthy youth. Youth with MDD reported more anxiety on days they consumed caffeine. Caffeine use among youth with MDD decreased across treatment, but sleep complaints remained elevated. Conclusions: Findings suggest that both sleep quality and caffeine use are altered in pediatric depression; that caffeine use, but not sleep problems, improves with treatment; and that caffeine may exacerbate daily anxiety among youth with depression.
- Ecological momentary assessment