Devices, apps and other distractions Young people's perceptions of sleep: A qualitative study.
PHE ePoster Library. Godsell S. Sep 12, 2017; 186447; 201
Sarah Godsell
Sarah Godsell
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Abstract Introduction/Background: Sleep deprivation is an emerging public health problem. In adolescents poor sleep is associated with increased weight gain, poor mental health and reduced school attendance. The aim of this study was to better understand young people's opinions about sleep and add to the limited body of qualitative theory of adolescent sleep behaviours.Method: Descriptive data were gathered from 13 - 14 year olds in four focus groups. Qualitative thematic analysis was used to systematically identify, examine and record patterns in the data.Result: Participants believed there was a specific amount of sleep required, they were not getting enough sleep and this was common amongst their peers. Participants knew about 'sleep hygiene' strategies but often failed to adopt them. They saw parents as key 'sleep messengers' and rule-setters. 'Distractions' from electronic devices and mobile phones were common obstacles to getting enough sleep. There were some gender differences; both girls and boys experienced distractions but the nature of the technology keeping them awake differed; girls worried more about sleep and felt a greater dependency on their phones at night.Conclusion/recommendations: The study has demonstrated young people do understand the importance of sleep, but they prioritise other activities and sleep becomes compromised. Findings can prompt school and health practitioners to consider sleep an influential factor in behavioural and educational issues and consider the impact of teen sleep on school/health outcomes. Further collaboration with young people is required to gain insight into influential 'sleep messengers', to bring about sustained changes in adolescent sleep behaviours.
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