Prevalence and patterns of problematic sleep among older adolescents.J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2000 Dec; 39(12):1549-56.JA
Despite many constraints on time schedules among teenagers, epidemiological data on sleep complaints in adolescence remain limited and are nonexistent for sleep disorders. This study provides additional data on sleep habits and DSM-IV sleep disorders in late adolescence.
A representative sample of 1,125 adolescents aged 15 to 18 years was interviewed by telephone using the Sleep-EVAL system. These adolescents came from 4 European countries: France, Great Britain, Germany, and Italy. Information was collected about sociodemographic characteristics, sleep/wake schedule, sleep habits, and sleep disorders and was compared with information from 2,169 young adults (19-24 years of age).
Compared with young adults, adolescents presented with a distinct sleep/wake schedule: they went to sleep earlier, they woke up later, and they slept longer than young adults did. On weekends and days off, they also slept more than young adults did. However, the prevalence rates of sleep symptoms and sleep disorders were comparable in both groups. Approximately 25% reported insomnia symptoms and approximately 4% had a DSM-IV insomnia disorder. Fewer than 0.5% had a circadian rhythm disorder.
Prevalence of insomnia disorders is lower in the adolescent population than in middle-aged or elderly adults. However, a rate of 4% in this young population is important given their young age and the consequences for daytime functioning.