Siesta and sleep patterns in a sample of adolescents in Greece

Pediatr Int. 2008 Oct;50(5):690-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-200X.2008.02632.x.


Background: Sleep behaviors and disturbances in adolescence are being increasingly investigated. The aim of the present study was to investigate the sleep habits of adolescents living in provincial Greece.

Methods: Responses to pre-constructed questionnaires on sleep habits and disturbances from 471 high-school students (259 boys; 212 girls), aged 14-18 years, attending four high schools of rural and semi-urban areas in north-western Greece, were analyzed.

Results: The median nocturnal and total sleep duration was 7.5 h (range, 2.5-11 h) and 8.5 h (range, 2.5-14 h), respectively, and the average bedtime was 23.55 hours. Male students, older adolescents and residents of towns went to bed later than female students, younger adolescents and residents of villages (P = 0.039, P = 0.0003 and P = 0.056, respectively). Siesta on a regular basis was reported by 43% and on an occasional basis by 46% of the students. Siesta median duration was 1.5 h (range 0.5-4.5 h). Daytime sleepiness, difficulties in morning awakening and in falling asleep, and night awakenings were reported by 26.3%, 17.4%, 17.2% and 11.2%, respectively. Students who had siestas reported less daytime sleepiness (P < 0.0001). Significant differences were observed between boys and girls regarding sleep disturbances.

Conclusion: Adolescents in provincial Greece present with a different sleep pattern as compared to their northern European peers, characterized by late bedtime and midday siesta. Similarly to their peers in other countries, considerable rates of sleep disturbances were reported.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Female
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Rural Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Schools / statistics & numerical data
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Sleep*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires