Changes in sleep and activity from age 15 to 17 in students with traditional and college-style school schedules

Runa Stefansdottir, Vaka Rognvaldsdottir, Sunna Gestsdottir, Sigridur L. Gudmundsdottir, Kong Y. Chen, Robert J. Brychta*, Erlingur Johannsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Sleep duration and physical activity decline with age during adolescence. Earlier school schedules may contribute to these declines. The aim of this longitudinal study was to track changes in sleep and activity of Icelandic youth from primary to secondary school and compare students who enrolled in secondary schools with traditional and college-style schedules. Methods: We measured free-living sleep and activity with wrist actigraphy and body composition by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry in 145 students at age 15 and age 17, when 58% attended schools with college-style scheduling. Differences from 15 to 17 and between students of different school structures were assessed with mixed-effect models. Results: Actigraphs were worn for 7.1 ± 0.4 nights at 15 and 6.9 ± 0.4 nights at 17. Overall, sleep duration decreased from 6.6 ± 0.7 h/night to 6.2 ± 0.7 h/night from age 15 to 17 (P < .001). Students with traditional schedules reduced school-night sleep duration 26 min/night at follow-up (P< .001), while sleep duration did not change for college-style students. All students went to bed later on school nights at follow-up, but only college-style students rose later. Sleep efficiency and awakenings did not differ by schedule-type. Neither sex changed body fat percentage, but average school-day activity decreased by 19% (P< .001) on follow-up and did not differ by schedule-type. Conclusions: Over the 2-year period, adolescents decreased weekly sleep duration and activity, but only those continuing traditional schedules reduced school-night sleep. This suggests greater individual control of school schedule may preserve sleep duration in this age group, which may be beneficial during the transition into adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-757
Number of pages9
JournalSleep Health
Volume6
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Hans Haraldsson for additional statistical support, Cindy Clark of the NIH Library Writing Center and the University of Iceland Writing Center for manuscript editing assistance, study participants and staff of participating schools, and master's students and researchers involved in data collection. Primary funding was supplied by the Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNIS) (grant number: 152509-051). Additional support was provided by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture; the Iceland Primary Health Care Research Fund, and doctoral grants from the University of Iceland Research Fund. KYC and RJB were funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases intramural research program (Z01 DK071013 and Z01 DK071014).

Funding Information:
Primary funding was supplied by the Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNIS) (grant number: 152509-051 ). Additional support was provided by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture ; the Iceland Primary Health Care Research Fund , and doctoral grants from the University of Iceland Research Fund. KYC and RJB were funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases intramural research program ( Z01 DK071013 and Z01 DK071014 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020

Other keywords

  • Accelerometer
  • Adolescents
  • Body composition
  • Physical activity
  • School schedule
  • Sleep duration

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