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World sleep day 2021

Getting a good night's sleep is essential for adolescents' healthy growth and development. A lack of sleep and poor quality sleep can negatively impact many aspects of young people's lives, including their mental wellbeing and functioning at school. Sleeping patterns change as young people enter adolescence and are associated with a range of behavioural factors, including time spent indoors, physical activity levels and screentime.

The 2017/18 international HBSC survey found that around 1 in 4 adolescents have difficulty getting to sleep at least once a week. Sleep difficulties tend to be higher among girls, older adolescents and those from less affluent families.

Evidence suggests that sleep problems have been increasing among adolescents in several countries in recent years. Countries with high levels of sleep difficulties include Belgium, France, Greenland and the UK.

The HBSC network has published several studies on adolescent sleep. Recent publications include:

  • Eccles, A. M., Qualer, P., Madsen, K. R., & Holstein, B. E. (2019). Loneliness in the lives of Danish adolescents: Associations with health and sleep. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health. DOI: 10.1177/1403494819865429

  • Gariepy, G., Danna, S., Gobina, I., Rasmussen, M., Matos, M. G., Tynjälä, J., . . . Schnohr, C. (2020). How Are Adolescents Sleeping? Adolescent Sleep Patterns and Sociodemographic Differences in 24 European and North American Countries. Journal of Adolescent Health, 66(6). DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.03.013

  • Kosticova, M., Husarova, D., & Dankulincova, Z. (2020). Difficulties in getting to sleep and their association with emotional and behavioural problems in adolescents: does the sleeping duration influence this association?. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(5), 1691. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17051691.

  • de Matos, M. G., Marques, A., Peralta, M., Gaspar, T., Simões, C., Pinto, H. R., ... & Paiva, T. (2019). Sleep in adolescence: sex matters?. Sleep Science, 12(3), 138. DOI: 10.5935/1984-0063.20190075

  • Holstein, B. E., Ammitzbøll, J., Damsgaard, M. T., Pant, S. W., Pedersen, T. P., & Skovgaard, A. M. (2019). Difficulties falling asleep among adolescents: Social inequality and time trends 1991–2018. Journal of Sleep Research. DOI: 10.1111/jsr.12941

  • Kleszczewska, D., Szkutnik, A. M., Siedlecka, J., & Mazur, J. (2019). Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviours and Duration of Sleep as Factors Affecting the Well-Being of Young People against the Background of Environmental Moderators. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(6), 915. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16060915

  • Kosticova, M., Geckova, A. M., Dobiasova, E., & Veselska, Z. D. (2019). Insufficient sleep duration is associated with worse self-rated health and more psychosomatic health complaints in adolescents. Bratislavske lekarske listy, 120(10), 783-788. DOI: 10.4149/BLL_2019_131

  • Thorsteinsson, E. B., Potrebny, T., Arnarsson, Á. M., Tynjälä, J., Välimaa, R., & Eriksson, C. (2018). Trends in sleeping difficulty among adolescents in five Nordic countries 2002–2014. Nordisk välfärdsforskning| Nordic Welfare Research, 4(02), 77-87. DOI: 10.18261/issn.2464-4161-2019-02-05

  • Vandendriessche, A., Ghekiere, A., Cauwenberg, J. V., De Clercq, B., Dhondt. K., DeSmet, A., Tynjälä, J., Verloigne, M., Deforche, B. (2019). Does Sleep Mediate the Association between School Pressure, Physical Activity, Screen Time, and Psychological Symptoms in Early Adolescents? A 12-Country Study. Int. J. Environ. Res Public Health, 16(6). DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16061072

  • Corkum, P., Weiss, S., Hall, W., Brown, C., Chambers, C., Constantin, E., ... & Shea, S. (2018). Assessment and treatment of pediatric behavioral sleep disorders in Canada. Sleep medicine. DOI: 10.1016/j.sleep.2018.11.007

  • Gariépy, G., Doré, I., Whitehead, R. D., & Elgar, F. J. (2018). More than just sleeping in: a late timing of sleep is associated with health problems and unhealthy behaviours in adolescents. Sleep Medicine. DOI: 10.1016/j.sleep.2018.10.029

  • Gariépy, G., Riehm, K. E., Whitehead, R. D., Doré, I., & Elgar, F. J. (2018). Teenage night owls or early birds? Chronotype and the mental health of adolescents. Journal of Sleep Research, e12723. DOI: 10.1111/jsr.12723

  • Ghekiere, A., Van Cauwenberg, J., Vandendriessche, A., Inchley, J., Gaspar de Matos, M., Borraccino, A., Gobina, I., Tynjala, J., Deforche, B., & De Claercq, B. (2018). Trends in sleeping difficulties among European adolescents: Are these associated with physical inactivity and excessive screen time? International Journal of Public Health. DOI: 10.1007/s00038-018-1188-1

  • Janssen, I., Berg, R. L., Marlenga, B., & Pickett, W. (2018). Sleep in Farm Adolescents. The Journal of Rural Health. DOI: 10.1111/jrh.12341

  • Méroc, E., Moreau, N., Dujeu, M., Pedron, C., Godin, I., & Castetbon, K. (2018). Sleeping patterns and association with health and school-related outcomes and behaviors among adolescents. Revue d'Épidémiologie et de Santé Publique, 66, S234-S235. DOI: 10.1016/j.respe.2018.05.010

  • Norell-Clarke, A., & Hagquist, C. (2018). Child and adolescent sleep duration recommendations in relation to psychological and somatic complaints based on data between 1985 and 2013 from 11 to 15 year-olds. Journal of Adolescence, 68, 12-21. DOI: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2018.07.006


item 6610
[19-03-2021 to 30-09-2021]


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