The association between pubertal status and sleep duration and quality among a nationally representative sample of U. S. adolescents

Kristen L. Knutson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Many hormones play important roles in both pubertal development and sleep regulation. Because of the possible consequences of impaired sleep, including impaired health and cognition, it is important to examine whether an association between pubertal stage and sleep exists. The aim of this analysis is to examine the association between sleep and adolescent growth and developmental stage in a large sample of adolescents ages 12-16 years from a nationally representative longitudinal study. This analysis used the public-use data set of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, an extensive survey of health and behavior among adolescents in the United States. The study included two interviews approximately 1 year apart. Pubertal development, sleep variables, and height are self-reported. Pubertal development scores were calculated by summing responses to three questions for each sex. The sleep variables include sleep duration, frequent insomnia (once/week or more), frequently waking tired (once/week or more), and insufficient sleep. The results indicate a sex difference in the association between sleep problems and pubertal development. Among females, there was a significant increase in sleep problems with increasing pubertal development score, but not among males. The negative association between sleep duration and pubertal development score, however, was significant in both males and females. There is no association between sleep duration and height velocity (inches/year) in this sample. The results, which are based on a large sample size, warrant further examination with more objective measures into the association bet sleep and growth and development among adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-424
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Anthropology


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