To establish the extent to which the developmental changes in sleep timing experienced by Australian adolescents meet the International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD-2) diagnostic criteria for delayed sleep phase disorder (DSPD), and whether adolescents with DSPD engage in poorer lifestyle choices, and are more impaired compared to good sleeping adolescents.
Three-hundred seventy-four Australian adolescents (mean age 15.6 years, SD 1.0) participants completed a 7-day sleep diary, wore wrist actigraphy, and completed a battery of questionnaires to assess DSPD criteria.
The ICSD-2 criteria for DSPD were met by 1.1% (N = 4) of the adolescents sampled. The majority of adolescents (51.9%, N = 194) met one criterion, 14% (N = 52) of the adolescents met 2 criteria, while 33.2% (N = 124) did not fulfill any DSPD criteria. Despite having significantly delayed sleep timing, adolescents who met all criteria for DSPD reported similar lifestyle habits and daytime functioning. However, there were trends for greater alcohol and caffeine consumption, less sport participation, yet more time spent on extracurricular activities (i.e., learning to play a musical instruments for adolescents with DSPD.
Despite the majority of adolescents reporting DSPD symptoms, only a small minority met full diagnostic criteria. Adolescents with DSPD reported similar lifestyle habits and daytime functioning to those with some or no symptoms. Future investigations of non-school-attending DSPD adolescents are needed to confirm the trends for lifestyle behaviors found in the present study.
Lovato N; Gradisar M; Short M; Dohnt H; Micic G. Delayed sleep phase disorder in an australian school-based sample of adolescents. J Clin Sleep Med 2013;9(9):939-944.