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Most Adolescents Sleep Six to Seven Hours on Week Nights

Blacks and males sleep less, have more fragmented sleep; females have poorer sleep quality

MONDAY, April 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents from families of lower socioeconomic class sleep six to seven hours a night during the school week, with less sleep and more fragmented sleep reported by blacks and males, according to a study published online April 21 in Pediatrics.

Karen A. Matthews, Ph.D., from the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues examined the adequacy of sleep among healthy adolescents from families of low to middle class according to the Hollingshead scale. Sleep duration and fragmentation were assessed by actigraphy; duration and perceived quality were assessed with daily diaries; and daytime sleepiness and sleep delay were assessed with questionnaires. The study included 250 high school students (mean age, 15.7 years; 57 percent black; 54 percent female).

The researchers found that, based on actigraphy and daily diaries, students slept a mean of 6.0 ± 0.9 hours and 6.8 ± 1.1 hours per night, respectively, during the school week, and 7.4 ± 1.2 and 8.7 ± 1.4 hours, respectively, during the weekend. Black participants and male participants slept less and their sleep was more fragmented. In daily diaries, female participants reported poorer quality of sleep and more daytime sleepiness. After adjustment for age, physical activity, smoking status, and percentile body mass index, the results remained significant.

"Our findings are consistent with recommendations that pediatricians should routinely screen their adolescent patients about their sleep, especially those from at-risk subgroups," the authors write.

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