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Journal Articles Sleep Science Year : 2019

Sleep in adolescence: sex matters?


Objective: Sleep is of upmost importance for everybody and especially for adolescents who face life and leisure challenges that may impair their sleep. This study aimed to verify if girls are at a higher risk to present sleep problems and if associations of a sleep perception are different between sexes even when accounting for biological maturation. Methods: Data is from the HBSC Portuguese survey 2014, all variables were self-reported. Participants were 3869 adolescents (2057 girls), mean age 14.8 years. Participants' socio-demographic characteristics included sex, age, school grade, father and mother education; besides participants were inquired about sleep duration and characteristics of their sleep quality. Results: Sleep deprivation was reported by 13.1% of the adolescents (girls 14.3%, boys 11.7%, p<0.05). The most prevalent characteristics of poor sleep quality were waking up tired (50.8%) and difficulties falling asleep (19.5%), for both girls presented higher prevalence than boys. Overall, girls presented a poorer sleep health with low quality and quantity of sleep. Furthermore, associations of an enough and good sleep were different between boys and girls, even when controlling for the impact of delayed pubertal maturity. Discussion: Together with screen time, substance use, poorer nutrition, sedentary behaviours and abuse of screen time, sleep is an issue that must be addressed by professionals, families and public policies with impact in family life and family routines. Modelling a health education in schools should include the sleep topic. In addition, yes, sex matters and must be included on board.

Dates and versions

hal-02464526 , version 1 (03-02-2020)



Margarida Gaspar de Matos, Adilson Marques, Miguel Peralta, Tânia Gaspar, Celeste Simões, et al.. Sleep in adolescence: sex matters?. Sleep Science, 2019, 12 (3), pp.138-146. ⟨10.5935/1984-0063.20190075⟩. ⟨hal-02464526⟩
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