Popular Teenagers Sleep Less Than Their Peers

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by MedicalExpress.

Due to a later melatonin onset and increased alertness in the evening, teenagers often find it hard to fall asleep at a time that would allow them to clock up the recommended eight to ten hours of sleep each night.

It is also during the teenage years when increasing school demands, activities, more independence from parents, and relationships with peers begin to compete with sleep. The role of social context, however, is often overlooked when studying adolescents’ sleep. Now, researchers in Sweden and Australia have explored how popularity among peers affected the sleeping habits of teenagers aged 14 to 18.

The work appears in Frontiers in Sleep.

“Here, we show that popular teenagers reported shorter sleep duration. In particular, popular girls—but not boys—reported more insomnia symptoms,” said Dr. Serena Bauducco, a sleep researcher at Örebro University and first author of the article. “Most interestingly, popularity also seems to negatively impact sleep both before and after the advent of smartphones.”

In a sample of more than 1,300 Swedish teenagers, almost half of them female, the researchers examined whether popularity coincided with shorter sleep duration. They asked teenagers to nominate up to three friends, and those receiving the most nominations were defined as more popular. These teenagers slept less than their peers, the most popular ones up to 27 minutes less.

When the researchers looked at boys and girls separately, they also found a correlation between popularity and insomnia symptoms: More popular girls experienced more insomnia symptoms, such as difficulties to fall or stay asleep or waking up too early. Popular boys did not experience these symptoms to the same extent.

Source: MedicalXpress

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on Crosswalk.com and Religiontoday.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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