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J Adolesc Health. 1999 Jan;24(1):16-20.

Gender differences in sleep patterns for early adolescents.

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School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco 94143, USA.



To describe gender differences in self-reported sleep disturbances and daytime sleepiness in an urban sample of early adolescents (11-14 years of age).


One hundred and forty-four racially diverse sixth- to eighth-grade students responded to an investigator-developed sleep questionnaire. Variables included school night and weekend sleep patterns as well as factors that influence sleep and daytime sleepiness, such as sleep/wake routine and alcohol and caffeine consumption.


Boys consumed significantly more caffeinated beverages than girls, but this did not correlate with self-reports of waking after sleep onset. Caffeine intake was significantly related to self-reported parasomnias. Significant gender differences were found for self-reports of daytime sleepiness. There were also large variations between weekday and weekend sleep schedules. Weekday wakeup time for boys was significantly later compared to girls. Those who reported consumption of alcohol during the past week were likely to fall asleep in the classroom before lunch. Girls, who awakened earlier than boys on school days, were more likely to report falling asleep on the way home from school.


These descriptive data support the need for further investigation into the relationship between caffeine intake and parasomnias, as well as into the observed gender differences.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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