Self-reported sleep disorders in secondary school students: an epidemiological and risk behavioural analysis


Purpose. To estimate the prevalence of self-reported sleep disorders (SD), to examine associations among demographic characteristics and familiar factors with SD, between SD and daytime sleep-related disorders (DD) and between evening habits and SD. Methods. An anonymous questionnaire was proposed to 1563 students (aged 14-21 years, mean age 16.5 ± 1.5; 42.8% males, 57.2% females) attending all classes of two high schools in Verona (North-East of Italy). Data were analyzed by some per- sonal and familial characteristics, by definition of three sleeper groups (non problem, occasional problem or problem-sleepers). Moreover SD were put in relation with DD and with some per- sonal evening attitudes. Results. The 75.5% of the subjects report at least one SD. Dif- ficulty falling asleep is the most frequent SD. The DD concern 91.2% of the sample. Females are more involved than males in SD and DD. All SD result strongly associated with the referred DD, except for sleepiness. Sport is significantly correlated with a minor prevalence of SD. Smoking and studying appear to be associated with SD. Conclusions. Since SD in youth constitute an important Public Health matter with a severe social impact they would be accu- rately studied to offer youth appropriate counselling given the importance of lifestyle in determining good sleep.