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Assessing Sleep in Adolescents Through a Better Understanding of Sleep Physiology

George, Nancy M. PhD, FNP-BC,; Davis, Jean E. PhD, RN

AJN, American Journal of Nursing: June 2013 - Volume 113 - Issue 6 - p 26–31
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000430921.99915.24
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Overview: Adolescents need about nine hours of sleep per night, yet most teens get far less. Inadequate sleep has consequences not only for academic performance but also for mental and physical health; it has been linked to lowered resilience and an increased risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. It's imperative that assessment of sleep become a routine part of adolescent health care. An understanding of sleep physiology is essential to helping nurses better assess and manage sleep deprivation in this population. Sleep assessment involves evaluating the three main aspects of sleep: amount, quality, and architecture. The authors provide an overview of sleep physiology, describe sleep changes that occur during adolescence, and discuss the influence of these changes on adolescent health. They also provide simple questions that nurses can use to assess sleep and risk factors for disrupted sleep, and discuss patient education and other interventions.

This article provides an overview of sleep physiology, describes sleep changes that occur during adolescence, discusses the influence of these changes on adolescent health, and gives nurses tools for assessing sleep in adolescents

Nancy M. George is an assistant professor of nursing and the assistant director for the DNP program, and Jean E. Davis is the associate dean of academic and clinical affairs, at the College of Nursing, Wayne State University, Detroit. Contact author: Nancy M. George, nancy.george@wayne.edu. The authors and planners have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.