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Sleep problems of adolescents: A detailed survey

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June 5, 2015
by Nuray Bayar Muluk, MD; Selda Fatma Bulbul, MD; Mahmut Turgut, MD; Gulsah Agirtas, MD


We investigated the sleep problems and sleep habits of adolescents at three public primary schools and two high schools. Our study included 428 Turkish school children (244 girls and 184 boys). We used a questionnaire to determine the time they went to sleep at night; waking time in the morning; incidence of nightmares, snoring, daytime sleepiness, and intrafamilial physical trauma; concentration difficulty in class; and school success. The students were divided into age-related groups (group 1 = 11 to 13 years of age; group 2 = 14 to 15 years; group 3 = 16 to 18 years). The time they went to sleep was mostly between 10 and 11 p.m. in groups 1 and 2, and 11 to 12 p.m. in group 3. Difficulty in falling asleep was reported by 16.8 to 19.6% of the students in the three groups. Difficulty in waking up in the morning was reported by 12.7% of group 1, 16.0% of group 2, and 16.8% of group 3. Snoring was present in 12.1% of females and 22.0% of males. The occurrence of one nightmare in the preceding 3 months was reported by 11.3% of the students; 17.9% of the students reported having nightmares several times. Daytime sleepiness was present in 65.1%, and concentration difficulty was present in 56.8% of the students. We conclude that difficulty in falling asleep, snoring, and daytime sleepiness may be seen in adolescents who are in both primary and high schools. Watching inappropriate programs and movies on television and intrafamilial physical trauma may cause nightmares and sleeping problems in these adolescents. Students and families should be educated about the importance of sleep in academic performance. Countries' public health policies should address sleep problems and related educational activities.

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