PURPOSE: Daytime sleepiness and poor mood in adolescents deserves careful attention from parents and school authorities. Sleep hygiene refers to proper sleep practices which maximize restful sleep leading to increased daytime alertness. This project studied intrinsic and extrinsic factors affecting teen sleep habits.
METHODS: A four-page Sleep Habits Survey was administered in December 2009, and January 2010 to junior high students in Texas. Informed consent forms were provided to the entire student body of almost 700 students belonging to 7th and 8th grades, and the surveys administered only to those students who had parental consent. A total of 66 survey responses (37 females and 29 males with an equal number of 7th and 8th graders) was then analyzed by entering data in an Excel spreadsheet with formulas embedded to calculate the BMI, the sleep duration statistics, and various scales like a Sleepiness Scale, a Sleep/Wake Behavioral Problems Scale and a Depressed Mood Scale. Regression analyses were performed for outcome variables with a set of control variables.
RESULTS: Factors like sex, age, ethnicity, educational expectations and substance abuse contribute to differences in daytime alertness of adolescents. The results show that sleep measures of Sleep Hygiene like Sleep-Wake Behavioral Problems scale have a direct correlation with daytime alertness, and mood problems.
CONCLUSION: We confirmed the hypothesis showing a strong correlation between poor sleep hygiene and low daytime alertness and problems related to mood. We need to focus on sleep hygiene as a priority like other health issues such as drug abuse and wearing seat belts are targeted.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The study established a clear correlation between poor sleep hygiene in teen adolescents and daytime alertness and mood disorders. In the long run, this may result in increased medical costs to individual and the society. Sleep specialists need to emphasize educating children to follow a healthy bedtime routine, while minimizing the use of caffeinated drinks and technology in the bedroom.
DISCLOSURE: Anita Rao, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information