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The characteristics of sleep and sleep loss in adolescence : a review
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by R Samson, Sarah BlundenSarah Blunden, S Banks
Healthy, adequate sleep is integral to the process of growth and development during adolescence. At puberty, maturational changes in the underlying homeostatic and circadian sleep regulatory mechanisms influence the sleep-wake patterns of adolescents. These changes interact with psychosocial factors, such as increasing academic demands, hours spent in paid employment, electronic media use, and social opportunities, and constrict the time available for adolescents to sleep. Survey studies reveal that adolescents’ habitual sleep schedules are associated with cumulative sleep loss. As a consequence, there is growing concern about the effects of insufficient sleep on adolescents’ waking function. This review identifies and examines the characteristics of sleep and sleep loss in adolescents. It highlights the need for more research into the effects of chronic partial sleep deprivation in adolescents, and the process of extending sleep on weekends to recover the effects of sleep debt. An understanding of chronic sleep deprivation and recovery sleep in adolescents will facilitate the development of evidence-based sleep guidelines and recommendations for recovery sleep opportunities when habitual sleep times are insufficient.