Objective: Studies indicate an inverse association between sleep duration and psychological distress. We aimed to explore associations between changes in sleep duration and changes in psychological distress in girls and boys.
Methods: The Fit Futures Study is a broad adolescent study providing data from 373 girls and 294 boys aged 15-18 years collected in 2010/2011 (FF1) and 2012/2013 (FF2). Psychological distress was measured by the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL-10) and sleep duration was self-reported. Change score variables were calculated as the change between baseline and follow-up for sleep duration and HSCL-10, respectively. Associations between changes in sleep duration and changes in HSCL-10 were explored by linear regressions, in gender-stratified analyses.
Results: At FF1, girls and boys slept on average 6.93 (SD = 1.08) and 7.05 (SD = 1.20) hours per night respectively, and correspondingly, 6.83 (SD = 1.19) and 6.85 (SD = 1.21) at FF2. At FF1, 22.8% of the girls and 25.8% of the boys slept ≤ 6 h per night, and correspondingly 28.0% and 28.2% at FF2. In girls and boys, one unit increase (30 min) in sleep duration was associated with a decrease in HSCL-10 score of B [95% CI] = -0.090 [-0.131, -0.048], p < 0.001, and -0.054 [-0.091, -0.017], p < 0.001, respectively. The associations remained significant after adjusting for confounders.
Conclusion: Our findings show that increased sleep duration was associated with decreased psychological distress during adolescence. Future studies should examine the causality between sleep duration and psychological distress.
Keywords: Psychological distress; adolescence; anxiety symptoms; depressive symptoms; sleep duration.
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.