Determinants of sleep behavior in adolescents: A pilot study

Published:April 08, 2017DOI:



      To identify determinants of sleep behavior in adolescents of middle to high socioeconomic status.


      Eighteen students (9 boys, 9 girls) with a mean age of 14.9 ± 1.5 years were interviewed using a standardized script inspired by the theory of planned behavior. Interviews were audio-recorded and anonymously transcribed verbatim. In addition, participants completed a survey assessing demographic and health characteristics and their sleep duration was measured using actigraphy.


      Adolescents listed a few positive benefits of healthy sleep and described a large number of immediate negative consequences caused by sleep deprivation. Strong positive/negative emotions were barriers to healthy sleep. The use of electronic devices at bedtime and sports participation were described as both barriers to and facilitators of healthy sleep. Participants indicated their intention to sleep more and to use relaxing activities at bedtime. Some intended to advance their bedtime, but none intended to stop using electronic devices at bedtime. Most participants stated that it would be easy to turn off phones but difficult to turn off movies at bedtime, and many believed that their parents and peers were against engaging in risky sleep behavior.


      Interventions that seek to alter adolescents' ability to regulate affect and address their beliefs regarding the use of electronic devices at bedtime, combined with information regarding the long-term impact of sleep health, may improve the effectiveness of sleep promotion programs for adolescents.


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