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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Neurological Disorders - Pediatrics and Child Health - Physiology - Public Health and Epidemiology

Total Sleep Time Severely Drops during Adolescence
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Author: Damien Leger et al.

by Damien Leger, François Beck, Jean-Baptiste Richard, Emmanuelle Godeau

Purpose

To explore perceived total sleep time on schooldays (TSTS) and non schooldays (TSTN) and the prevalence of sleep initiating insomnia among a nationally representative sample of teenagers.

Methods

Data from 9,251 children aged 11 to 15 years-old, 50.7% of which were boys, as part of the cross-national study 2011 HBSC were analyzed. Self-completion questionnaires were administered in classrooms. An estimate of TSTS and TSTN (week-ends and vacations) was calculated based on specifically designed sleep habits report. Sleep deprivation was estimated by a TSTN – TSTS difference >2 hours. Sleep initiating nsomnia was assessed according to International classification of sleep disorders (ICSD 2). Children who reported sleeping 7 hours or less per night were considered as short sleepers.

Results

A serious drop of TST was observed between 11 yo and 15 yo, both during the schooldays (9 hours 26 minutes vs. 7 h 55 min.; p<0.001) and at a lesser extent during week-ends (10 h 17 min. vs. 9 h 44 min.; p<0.001). Sleep deprivation concerned 16.0% of chidren aged of 11 yo vs. 40.5% of those of 15 yo (p<0.001). Too short sleep was reported by 2.6% of the 11 yo vs. 24.6% of the 15 yo (p<0.001).

Conclusion

Despite the obvious need for sleep in adolescence, TST drastically decreases with age among children from 11 to 15 yo which creates significant sleep debt increasing with age.

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