Estimating adolescent sleep patterns: Parent reports versus adolescent self-report surveys, sleep diaries, and actigraphy

School of Psychology, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Nature and Science of Sleep 02/2013; 5:23-6. DOI: 10.2147/NSS.S38369
Source: PubMed


In research and clinical contexts, parent reports are often used to gain information about the sleep patterns of their adolescents; however, the degree of concordance between parent reports and adolescent-derived measures is unclear. The present study compares parent estimates of adolescent sleep patterns with adolescent self-reports from surveys and sleep diaries, together with actigraphy.
A total of 308 adolescents (59% male) aged 13-17 years completed a school sleep habits survey during class time at school, followed by a 7-day sleep diary and wrist actigraphy. Parents completed the Sleep, Medical, Education and Family History Survey.
Parents reported an idealized version of their adolescent's sleep, estimating significantly earlier bedtimes on both school nights and weekends, significantly later wake times on weekends, and significantly more sleep than either the adolescent self-reported survey, sleep diary, or actigraphic estimates.
Parent reports indicate that the adolescent averages a near-optimal amount of sleep on school nights and a more than optimal amount of sleep on weekends. However, adolescent-derived averages indicate patterns of greater sleep restriction. These results illustrate the importance of using adolescent-derived estimates of sleep patterns in this age group and the importance of sleep education for both adolescents and their parents.

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