To investigate prevalence and correlates of delayed sleep phase, characterized by problems falling asleep in the evening and rising at adequate times in the morning, in a large sample of Norwegian high school students.
A randomized sample of 1285 high school students (aged 16-19 years) participated in an internet based study answering questions about sleep habits, height, weight, smoking, alcohol use, school grades, and anxiety and depression symptoms. Delayed sleep phase was operationalized as difficulties falling asleep before 2 a.m. at least three nights per week together with much or very much difficulty waking up in the morning.
The results show a prevalence of delayed sleep phase of 8.4%. In all, 68% of these students (5.7% of the total sample) also reported problems advancing their sleep period as well as one daytime consequence (oversleeping at least two days a week or experiencing much/very much sleepiness at school). Delayed sleep phase was associated with lower average school grades, smoking, alcohol usage, and elevated anxiety and depression scores.
Delayed sleep phase appears to be common amongst Norwegian adolescents and is associated with negative outcomes such as lower average school grades, smoking, alcohol usage, and elevated anxiety and depression scores.