Sleep patterns and insomnia among adolescents: a population-based study

J Sleep Res. 2013 Oct;22(5):549-56. doi: 10.1111/jsr.12055. Epub 2013 Apr 24.


The aim of the current study was to examine sleep patterns and rates of insomnia in a population-based study of adolescents aged 16-19 years. Gender differences in sleep patterns and insomnia, as well as a comparison of insomnia rates according to DSM-IV, DSM-V and quantitative criteria for insomnia (Behav. Res. Ther., 41, 2003, 427), were explored. We used a large population-based study in Hordaland county in Norway, conducted in 2012. The sample included 10,220 adolescents aged 16-18 years (54% girls). Self-reported sleep measurements included bedtime, rise time, time in bed, sleep duration, sleep efficiency, sleep onset latency, wake after sleep onset, rate and frequency and duration of difficulties initiating and maintaining sleep and rate and frequency of tiredness and sleepiness. The adolescents reported short sleep duration on weekdays (mean 6:25 hours), resulting in a sleep deficiency of about 2 h. A majority of the adolescents (65%) reported sleep onset latency exceeding 30 min. Girls reported longer sleep onset latency and a higher rate of insomnia than boys, while boys reported later bedtimes and a larger weekday-weekend discrepancy on several sleep parameters. Insomnia prevalence rates ranged from a total prevalence of 23.8 (DSM-IV criteria), 18.5 (DSM-V criteria) and 13.6% (quantitative criteria for insomnia). We conclude that short sleep duration, long sleep onset latency and insomnia were prevalent in adolescents. This warrants attention as a public health concern in this age group.

Keywords: adolescents; epidemiology; insomnia; prevalence; sleep.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Aging
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Fatigue / diagnosis
  • Fatigue / epidemiology
  • Fatigue / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Self Report
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Deprivation / epidemiology
  • Sleep Deprivation / physiopathology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / epidemiology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult