Abstract: What is Keeping You From Sleep?

Background: Sleep is an essential part of the development of the human body and affects essentially every system. Though sleep is important, it is often sacrificed among adolescents as progress towards adulthood. This study builds on previous research about factors that influence the sleep habits of adolescents and their impact on health.  

Methods: A cross-sectional design was used to examine select health-related behaviors in a convenience sample of adolescents, grades 9 through 12, from three large suburban high schools in northeast Ohio. Along with a 51-item questionnaire that focuses on dietary behaviors, physical activity, sleep, and tobacco use, participants completed supplemental items & logs related to sleep and exercise. 

Results: There were two weak, but statistically significant correlations linking hours of sleep on school nights and key health indicators. First, an indirect correlation between hours of sleep on a school night and BMI and (p <0.01) and then a direct correlation between BMI and number of days per week of feeling down (p<0.05).  

Conclusions: With results affirming that lack of sleep impacts adolescent development and their mental health, interventions such as, increased daily activity and sleep awareness, and enhanced education can be implemented to help students take control of their health and promote improved sleep habits.