Document Type



Author's Final Manuscript

Publication Title

Sleep Medicine



Publication Date



Objective: Poor sleep poses negative health consequences for youth, yet few longitudinal actigraphy studies have examined basic developmental trends in sleep across adolescents’ transition to young adulthood. In this longitudinal actigraphy study, stability of individual differences and trajectories of sleep during and after high school were examined. The degree to which sleep trajectories differed by college attendance status was also studied.

Methods: A total of 343 youth with Asian, Latino, and European American backgrounds completed eight days of wrist actigraphy at two-year intervals in Wave 1(n= 295, Mage= 16.39), Wave 2 (n= 211 including 34 new participants to refresh the sample, Mage= 18.31), and Wave 3 (n= 144, Mage= 20.29). Sleep duration, efficiency, and latency were estimated for weekdays and weekends. Intra-individual variability in duration across nights was also obtained.

Results: Sleep parameters were correlated modestly between Wave 1 and Wave 2, but not correlated between Wave 1 and Wave 3, indicating modest shorter-term and little longer-term stability of individual differences. Multilevel growth models demonstrated declines in weekday sleep duration and efficiency across high school and post-high school years. Intra-individual variability in duration increased over the years. Latency trajectories changed more for non-college attendees compared with college attendees.

Conclusions: Overall the findings suggest developmental trends of worsening sleep during adolescents’ transition to young adulthood. Interventions to improve sleep may need to target specific issues faced by youth at that particular period in their lives.


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