The Chronic Sleep Reduction Questionnaire – Review

DEWALD, J. F., SHORT, M. A., GRADISAR, M., OORT, F. J. and MEIJER, A. M. (2012), The Chronic Sleep Reduction Questionnaire (CSRQ): a cross-cultural comparison and validation in Dutch and Australian adolescents. Journal of Sleep Research, 21: 584–594. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2869.2012.00999.x

Through the use of the Chronic Sleep Reduction Questionnaire (CSRQ), the researchers try to assess symptoms of chronic sleep reduction in adolescents. While this paper is mostly about validating this approach, the information is very useful to see how such experiments are set up, and their conclusions. Also the questionnaire itself can be a useful tool in further research. Continue reading

The influence of sleep on school performance – Review

Julia F. Dewald, Anne M. Meijer, Frans J. Oort, Gerard A. Kerkhof, Susan M. Bögels The influence of sleep quality, sleep duration and sleepiness on school performance in children and adolescents: A meta-analytic review Sleep Medicine Reviews, Volume 14, Issue 3, June 2010, Pages 179–189

This paper is a meta-analysis of the relation between sleep and school performance. Meta-analysis is a statistical method combining different study results. It enables the discovery of consistencies in a set of seemingly inconsistent findings.

Sleeping well is important for children and adolescents, since it influences learning and other memory processes.

insufficient or low quality sleep during (early) adolescence impairs the executive function of the prefrontal cortex16 and consequently the decline of learning abilities and school performance. [17] and [*18]

Sleep is crucial for children and adolescents’ learning, memory processes and school performance. [*1],[*2] and [*3]but 45% of children are not getting enough [7] and [8]. On average, adolescents need 9 hours of sleep per night. But as sleep quality is more important than sleep duration, more effective to measure is sleepiness, as this relates directly to enough sleep or not. If a child would sleep 8 hours a night and would not be sleepy during the day, their school performance would not suffer, in contrast to someone who could sleep 9 hours and still be sleepy in school.

Insufficient sleep might be caused by an interaction of intrinsic (e.g., puberty, circadian or homeostatic changes) and extrinsic factors (e.g., early school start times, social pressure, academic workload) leading to later bedtimes while getting up times remain unchanged. Additionally, it is known that approximately 20–50% of children and adolescents report daytime sleepiness. [9] and [10]

We see that daytime sleepiness is highest among children in mid-puberty. This makes me wonder what age group mid-puberty is exactly, so more about that later. The ages of mid-puberty also differ between boys and girls.

mid-pubertal adolescents may need more sleep than younger or older adolescents in order to reach the same level of daytime alertness and neurocognitive functioning. [*2][*16] and [24]

The article ends with a short summary, which is nice to remember where to focus:

Poor sleep quality, insufficient sleep and sleepiness are significantly associated with worse school performance.
We recommend educating children, adolescents, parents and schools about the importance of sleep for school performance. As part of this, education about sleep hygiene can be given in order to improves the sleep of children and adolescent and consequently school performance.
Attention should be drawn to the development of prevention and treatment programs that focus on the sleep of children and adolescents

For more literature on sleep, see this post.

Chronic Sleep Reduction and School Achievement – Review

MEIJER, A. M. (2008), Chronic sleep reduction, functioning at school and school achievement in preadolescents. Journal of Sleep Research, 17: 395–405. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2869.2008.00677.x

An interesting study on the effects of chronic sleep reduction on the school results of 7th and 8th grade school children. The conclusion is that chronic sleep reduction affects school achievements negatively, directly and indirectly. How does this work?

Chronic sleep reduction can occur by sleeping too shortly or having poor quality of sleep (interrupted), over a longer period. Consequences of chronic sleep reduction can include:

Melatonin and Sleep – Review

VAN MAANEN, A., MEIJER, A. M., SMITS, M. G. and OORT, F. J. (2011), Melatonin and sleep effects on health, behavior problems and parenting stress. Sleep and Biological Rhythms, 9: 165–171. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-8425.2011.00502.x

A very short review of this article, because it does not really suit the subject of my project, which is about average adolescents and not focused on medical treatment.

This article is about children who receive melatonin treatment, and the effects thereof. The participants of the study were children with severe sleeping disorders. In short, the conclusions of the study are that melatonin treatment has an immediate, positive effect on health, as long as the treatment causes actual longer sleep time. Also behavioral problems decrease. When the treatment is stopped, the problems come back.

Interestingly, I read in another article [link coming soon] that amongst other causes, melatonin production in adolescents is disrupted or changed, hence the late bed times and sleep deprivation. If melatonin is such an important aspect of sleep, health and behavior, would you not want to fix it if you could?

For more literature on sleep, see this post.