Relationships among sleepiness, sleep time, and psychological functioning in adolescents

Melisa Moore, H Lester Kirchner, Dennis Drotar, Nathan Johnson, Carol Rosen, Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Susan Redline
Journal of Pediatric Psychology 2009, 34 (10): 1175-83

OBJECTIVE: This study examined associations among adolescent sleepiness, sleep duration, variability in sleep duration, and psychological functioning (symptoms of anxiety, depression, externalizing behaviors, and perceived health).

METHODS: This was a cross-sectional analysis of data from a community-based cohort study of sleep and health. Participants were 247 adolescents (48.6% female, 54.3% ethnic minority, mean age of 13.7 years). Sleep duration and variability in sleep duration were measured by actigraphy and sleepiness was measured by adolescent questionnaire. Primary outcomes were measured by parent, teacher, and adolescent questionnaires.

RESULTS: Sleepiness was associated with higher scores on measures of anxiety (Adjusted partial r(2) = .28, p < .001), depression (Adjusted partial r(2) = .23, p < .001), and perceived health (indicating more negative outcomes) (Adjusted partial r(2) = .19, p < .01). Significant associations between sleep duration or variability in sleep duration with psychological variables were not found.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings highlight the inter-relationships between sleepiness and psychological functioning and the potential importance of addressing sleepiness in health and psychological evaluations of adolescents.

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