The journey through the world of adolescent sleep

Rev Neurosci. 2014;25(4):585-604. doi: 10.1515/revneuro-2013-0065.


Sleep-wake patterns and the electroencephalogram (EEG) during sleep undergo fundamental changes during adolescence. Scientific evidence indicates that these changes represent components of an extensive maturational brain remodeling process. Sleep during periods of brain maturation appears to be particularly important for health and behavior. Adolescents' sleep problems affect their cognitive and psychobehavioral functioning, making insufficient sleep during this developmental stage a significant international health concern. In this review, we summarize some key data concerning developmental changes in sleep behavior and regulation, and the association between sleep EEG changes and brain maturation. This review extends our understanding of adolescent sleep and highlights its significance for healthy development. We discuss the possibility to follow brain maturation and to detect errors in this maturational process by monitoring the developmental sleep EEG changes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / growth & development*
  • Brain / physiology
  • Brain Waves
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Puberty / physiology*
  • Sleep Stages*