Sleep and sleepiness among working and non-working high school evening students

Liliane Reis Teixeira, Arne Lowden, Samantha Lemos Turte, Roberta Nagai, Claudia Roberta de Castro Moreno, Maria do Rosário Dias de Oliveira Latorre, Frida Marina Fischer
Chronobiology International 2007, 24 (1): 99-113
The aim of this study was to evaluate patterns of sleepiness, comparing working and non-working students. The study was conducted on high school students attending evening classes (19:00-22:30 h) at a public school in São Paulo, Brazil. The study group consisted of working (n=51) and non-working (n=41) students, aged 14-21 yrs. The students answered a questionnaire about working and living conditions and reported health symptoms and diseases. For seven consecutive days, actigraphy measurements were recorded, and the students also filled in a sleep diary. Sleepiness ratings were given six times per day, including upon waking and at bedtime, using the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale. Statistical analyses included three-way ANOVA and t-test. The mean sleep duration during weekdays was shorter among workers (7.2 h) than non-workers (8.8 h) (t=4.34; p<.01). The mean duration of night awakenings was longer among workers on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (28.2 min) and shorter on Mondays (24.2 min) (t=2.57; p=.03). Among workers, mean napping duration was longer on Mondays and Tuesdays (89.9 min) (t=2.27; p=.03) but shorter on Fridays and Sundays (31.4 min) (t=3.13; p=.03). Sleep efficiency was lower on Fridays among non-workers. Working students were moderately sleepier than non-workers during the week and also during class on specific days: Mondays (13:00-15:00 h), Wednesdays (19:00-22:00 h), and Fridays (22:00-00:59 h). The study found that daytime sleepiness of workers is moderately higher in the evening. This might be due to a work effect, reducing the available time for sleep and shortening the sleep duration. Sleepiness and shorter sleep duration can have a negative impact on the quality of life and school development of high school students.

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