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Indian Pediatr. 2008 Mar;45(3):183-9.

Sleep patterns of urban school-going adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, Delhi, India.



To analyze the variance in sleep habits of adolescents of different high school Grades in urban India.


Cross-sectional questionnaire-based study.


Community based school survey in an urban setting.


School going adolescents from 9th to 12th Grades.


A total of 1,920 adolescents aged 12-18 years were included. The questionnaire contained questions related to sleep habits. Each question was explained to the participants and their responses were noted. Outcome parameters were total sleep time in a day, time to go to bed and wake up-time, sleep latency, nocturnal awakenings (duration, frequency per night and nights per week), wake-time after sleep onset, wake time after sleep offset, sleep efficiency, quality of sleep, daytime napping (duration and frequency), and sleepiness during the day.


Mean age of the adolescents included in this study was 15.1 years and mean total sleep time was 7.8 hr/day. Adolescents of higher Grades had lesser total sleep time (9th=8 hours; 10th=7.7 hours; 11th=7.9 hours; 12th=7.6 hours; P=0.001), and more frequent nocturnal awakenings (9th=35.9%; 10th=44.7%; 11th=40.3%; 12th=28.3%; P=0.001). Daytime leg pain ( 9th=14.4%; 10th=18.4%; 11th=6.1%; 12th= 21.8%; P=0.01), daytime napping (9th=47.6%; 10th=50.4%; 11th=61.8%; 12th=69.8%; P=0.001), and daytime sleepiness (9th=37.2%; 10th=39.1%; 11th=39.7%; 12th=54.2%; P=0.001) increased progressively among higher Grades. Adolescents in higher Grades were more prone to not follow their weekly schedule on week-ends (P= 0.001). Sleep debt of approximately one hour per day was seen in all adolescents, and progressed with higher Grades.


Adolescents of higher Grades had lesser sleep time, and frequent awakenings; suffered daytime leg pain, and felt sleepy during the day. These factors suggest increasing sleep deprivation among higher Graders.

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