Results show that increased sleep quality during both weekdays and weekends was associated with increased connectedness with peers. Increased variability in weekday, but not weekend sleep quality, was associated with decreased connectedness to peers and increased sensitivity to peer rejection.
“Adolescents typically do not acquire the recommended amount of sleep needed for their age, and most adolescents strongly value their social interactions with their peers. Our study shows that both of these processes are at odds among adolescents because poor sleep quality is associated with poor social functioning,” said lead author Salvatore Insana, PhD, postdoctoral scholar in the department of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh.
The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal SLEEP, and Insana will present the findings Wednesday, June 5, in Baltimore, Md., at SLEEP 2013, the 27th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.
The study group comprised 49 healthy adolescents between the ages of 9 and 17 years. For three consecutive weeks, sleep quality was measured with a visual analogue scale each morning and was averaged separately for weekdays and weekends. Connectedness to peers was measured with subjective reports that were collected via Ecological Momentary Assessment several times throughout the day. During the study, a single laboratory-based paradigm was administered to acquire pupil reactivity to peer rejection during a simulated Internet chat room task.
According to Insana, it is likely that the relationship between adolescent sleep quality and social functioning is bidirectional.
“Poor social functioning may lead to poor sleep quality, and poor sleep quality may lead to poor social functioning,” said Insana. “Since adolescence is an important time to develop healthy social skills that can last a lifetime, this cycle could potentially lead to problems with developing social relationships in the future and could also potentially be broken if adolescents get better sleep.”
For a copy of the abstract, “Adolescent sleep quality is associated with connectedness to peers and sensitivity to peer rejection,” or to arrange an interview with Dr. Insana or an AASM spokesperson, please contact AASM Communications Coordinator Lynn Celmer at [email protected].
A joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, the annual SLEEP meeting brings together an international body of more than 5,500 leading clinicians and scientists in the fields of sleep medicine and sleep research. At SLEEP 2013 (www.sleepmeeting.org), more than 1,300 research abstract presentations will showcase new findings that contribute to the understanding of sleep and the effective diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy and sleep apnea.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine considers sleep disorders an illness that has reached epidemic proportions. Board-certified sleep medicine physicians in an AASM-accredited sleep center provide effective treatment. AASM encourages patients to talk to their doctors about sleep problems or visit www.sleepeducation.com for a searchable directory of sleep centers.
CONTACT: Lynn Celmer, 630-737-9700, ext. 9364, [email protected]