The aim of this article was to explore and determine what is known about adolescent sleep, the causes and the consequences of anxious sleep in adolescence. The author states that adolescence is a time of rapid growth and is highly sensitive to environmental and biological factors. Sufficient quantity and quality of sleep is essential for the challenges that these rapid changes present. Author claims that 25% of adolescents report symptoms of insomnia and 4% have sleep disturbances severe enough to diagnose as sleep disorder.
Sleep is organized into two broad categories, rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM sleep. It is during REM that most dreaming occurs. REM is very similar to an awake state and sleepers are easily awakened. Non-REM sleep occurs in four stages, with stages 1 and 2 considered light sleep and stages 3 and 4, the deepest stages of sleep. “Slow wave sleep increases proportionately with hours spent awake and is more difficult to arouse a sleeper from. This stage of sleep is associated with restoration, increases in secretion of growth hormone and immune function changes” (Dahl & Lewin 2002).
Sleep disorders are diagnosed when sleep is disturbed over a period of time, usually more than one month. Sleep disorders are categorized into 4 groups in the article: parasomnias, dyssomnias, sleep disorders associated with mental, neurological or other medical disorders and proposed sleep disorders.
Sleep in adolescence undergoes changes that are brought about by both biological and psychosocial factors, including changes to hormonal secretion, brain maturation and the homeostatic process. These factors allow adolescents to stay awake later. Insomnia, or sleep lag is a symptom of sleep disorder. Insomnia can “lead to irregular sleeping patterns with adolescents staying up late each night and sleeping in on weekends to compensate (sleep lag)” (Curcio et al. 2006). Sleep lag has been described as a form of jetlag that can arise for... [continues]
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