Sleep habits, academic performance, and the adolescent brain structure

Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 9;7:41678. doi: 10.1038/srep41678.

Abstract

Here we report the first and most robust evidence about how sleep habits are associated with regional brain grey matter volumes and school grade average in early adolescence. Shorter time in bed during weekdays, and later weekend sleeping hours correlate with smaller brain grey matter volumes in frontal, anterior cingulate, and precuneus cortex regions. Poor school grade average associates with later weekend bedtime and smaller grey matter volumes in medial brain regions. The medial prefrontal - anterior cingulate cortex appears most tightly related to the adolescents' variations in sleep habits, as its volume correlates inversely with both weekend bedtime and wake up time, and also with poor school performance. These findings suggest that sleep habits, notably during the weekends, have an alarming link with both the structure of the adolescent brain and school performance, and thus highlight the need for informed interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Academic Performance*
  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Female
  • Gray Matter / anatomy & histology
  • Gray Matter / physiology
  • Habits*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Sleep*