Objective: To determine whether shorter school-night sleep duration, greater daytime sleepiness, and greater eveningness chronotype were associated with lower self-regulation among adolescents.
Methods: An online survey of 7th- to 12th-grade students in 19 schools in Fairfax County, Virginia Public Schools was conducted in 2015. Self-regulation was measured with the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, 2nd edition, Screening Self-Report Form. Sleep measures included school night-sleep duration (hours between usual bedtime and wake time), daytime sleepiness (Sleepiness Scale in the Sleep Habits Survey, tertiles), and chronotype (Morningness-Eveningness Scale for Children, continuous score and tertiles). Sociodemographic factors and mental health conditions were analyzed as potential confounders.
Results: Among 2017 students surveyed, the mean age was 15.0 years (range, 12.1-18.9 years), and 21.7% slept <7 hours on school nights. In regression models adjusted for confounders, there was a significant independent association between self-regulation and both chronotype (P < .001) and daytime sleepiness (P < .001) but not sleep duration (P = .80). Compared with those in the lowest tertile of daytime sleepiness, those in the highest tertile had lower (0.59 SD units; 95% confidence interval, 0.48-0.71) self-regulation, as did those in the eveningness tertile of chronotype compared with those in the morningness tertile (0.35 SD units lower; 95% confidence interval, 0.24-0.46).
Conclusions: Among adolescents, greater daytime sleepiness and greater eveningness chronotype were independently associated with lower self-regulation, but shorter sleep duration was not. Aspects of sleep other than school-night sleep duration appear to be more strongly associated with self-regulation.
Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.