The Prevalence of Probable Delayed-Sleep-Phase Syndrome in Students From Junior High School to University in Tottori, Japan

Tohoku J Exp Med. 2008 Sep;216(1):95-8. doi: 10.1620/tjem.216.95.

Abstract

Delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder with a typical onset in the second decade of life. DSPS is characterized by the sleep-onset insomnia and the difficulty in waking at the desired time in the morning. Although DSPS is associated with inability to attend school, the prevalence has been controversial. To elucidate a change in the prevalence of DSPS among young population, epidemiological survey was conducted on Japanese students. A total of 4,971 students of junior high school, senior high school, and university were enrolled in this cross sectional study in Tottori Prefecture. They answered anonymous screening questionnaire regarding school schedule, sleep hygiene and symptomatic items of sleep disorders. The prevalence of probable DSPS was estimated at 0.48% among the total subject students without gender difference. In university, the prevalence of the last year students showed the highest value (1.66%), while that of the first year students showed the lowest value (0.09%) among all school years from junior high school to university. The prevalence increased with advancing university school years. Thus, a considerable number of Japanese students are affected with DSPS. Senior students of university are more vulnerable to the disorder than younger students. Appropriate school schedule may decrease the mismatch between the individual's sleep-wake cycle and the school schedule. Promotion of a regular sleep habit is necessary to prevent DSPS among this population.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Appointments and Schedules
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cues
  • Female
  • Habits
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Schools / organization & administration
  • Sleep Disorders, Circadian Rhythm / epidemiology*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities / organization & administration