Associations Between Health Compromising Behaviorsand Sleep Patterns in Portuguese Adolescents

Nuno Loureiro, Margarida Gaspar de Matos


Introduction: The pattern of sleep plays an important role in protecting the adolescents’ health. The main objective of this research is to determine the relationship between sufficient sleep (≥ 8 hours of sleep per night on school days) and health-risk behaviours in Portuguese adolescents.
Methods: 5,050 participants with an average age of 13.98 (DP ± 1.85), 52.3% of which were female. The instrument used was the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children 2010 (HBSC) questionnaire. The associations were studied by applying χ² tests and the multivariate logistic regression models.
Results: A significant percentage of adolescents (39%) get less than 8 hours sleep on weekdays. Sufficient sleep (≥ 8 h) is associated with younger age: adolescents between the ages of 13 and 15 (OR=0.549, p<.05) and those aged 16 or older (OR=0.291, p<.05) sleep less, as well as with less consumption of tobacco (OR=0.728, p<.05) and alcohol (OR=0.837, p<.05), a lower level of sadness (OR=0.786, p<.05) and a lower tendency to use the computer for 3 hours or more a day (OR=0.829, p<.05).
Conclusion: The adolescents’ pattern of sleep is an important feature in adolescents lifestyles being associated to a large range of health and health compromising behaviours.


Sleep; Risk behaviours; Health; Adolescents; BMI; Physical activity

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