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Behav Sleep Med. 2019 Jul-Aug;17(4):398-410. doi: 10.1080/15402002.2017.1376206. Epub 2017 Oct 9.

Seasonal and weather variation of sleep and physical activity in 12-14-year-old children.

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a Department of Neonatology , University of Tuebingen , Tuebingen , Germany.
b Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology , Brigham & Women's Hospital , Boston , Massachusetts.
c Harvard Medical School , Boston , Massachusetts.
d Division of General Academic Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics , MassGeneral Hospital for Children , Boston , Massachusetts.
e Obesity Prevention Program, Department of Population Medicine , Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute , Boston , Massachusetts.
f Office of the Director, Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) , National Institutes of Health , Rockville , Maryland.
g Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center , Boston , Massachusetts.


Background: Understanding variation in physical activity (PA) and sleep is necessary to develop novel intervention strategies targeting adolescents' health behaviors. We examined the extent to which PA and sleep vary by aspects of the physical environment. Participants: We performed a cross-sectional analysis of 669 adolescents in the Project Viva cohort. Methods: We estimated total PA, sleep duration, sleep efficiency, and sleep midpoint timing from wrist accelerometers. We used multivariable linear regression models and generalized estimated equations to assess associations of PA and sleep with season and daily weather conditions obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration archive. Results: Mean age was 12.9 (SD 0.6) years; 51% were female and 68% were white. Mean sleep duration was 466 (SD 42) min per night and total PA was 1,652 (SD 431) counts per min per day. Sleep midpoint time was 41 (95% CI: 27 to 54) min later in summer, 28 (95% CI: -41 to -14) min earlier in spring, and 29 (95% CI: -43 to -15) min earlier in autumn compared to winter. Higher temperature and longer day length both were associated with small reductions of nightly sleep duration. Adolescents were less physically active during winter and on rainy and short sunlight days. There was an inverse U-shaped relationship between PA and mean temperature. Conclusions: Season was associated with large changes in sleep timing, and smaller changes in other sleep and PA measurements. Given the importance of sleep and circadian alignment, future health behavioral interventions may benefit by targeting "season-specific" interventions.

[Available on 2020-07-01]

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