OBJECTIVE: Sleep plays an important role in the physical and emotional development of adolescents. The aim of this study was to examine gender differences in sleep habits in a sample of 11-13 year olds. METHOD: The study was carried out in the city of Patos de Minas, Brazil. The study cohort was composed of 200 students (96 boys and 104 girls) attending (in the morning or in the afternoon) the 5th, 6th or 7th grades, with ages ranging from 11 to 13 years. A Sleep Questionnaire developed at the Federal University of São Paulo was used in order to evaluate student sleep habits and schedules, as well as the overall quality of sleep. RESULTS: For the period between Friday night and Sunday morning, girls displayed longer sleep duration than did boys. During the week, students attending only afternoon classes woke up later than did students attending only morning classes. In addition, morning-class students showed more adverse effects on sleep, including irregular sleep/wakefulness circadian rhythms, when compared with afternoon-class students. CONCLUSION: Sleep habits are affected by gender and school schedule.
Sleep; Sex factors; Habits; Child; Adolescent