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Caffeine consuming children and adolescents show altered sleep behavior and deep sleep


Aepli, Andrina; Kurth, Salome; Tesler, Noemi; Jenni, Oskar; Huber, Reto (2015). Caffeine consuming children and adolescents show altered sleep behavior and deep sleep. Brain Sciences, 5(4):441-455.

Abstract

Caffeine is the most commonly ingested psychoactive drug worldwide with increasing consumption rates among young individuals. While caffeine leads to decreased sleep quality in adults, studies investigating how caffeine consumption affects children's and adolescents' sleep remain scarce. We explored the effects of regular caffeine consumption on sleep behavior and the sleep electroencephalogram (EEG) in children and adolescents (10-16 years). While later habitual bedtimes (Caffeine 23:14 ± 11.4, Controls 22:17 ± 15.4) and less time in bed were found in caffeine consumers compared to the control group (Caffeine 08:10 ± 13.3, Controls 09:03 ± 16.1), morning tiredness was unaffected. Furthermore, caffeine consumers exhibited reduced sleep EEG slow-wave activity (SWA, 1-4.5 Hz) at the beginning of the night compared to controls (20% ± 9% average reduction across all electrodes and subjects). Comparable reductions were found for alpha activity (8.25-9.75 Hz). These effects, however, disappeared in the morning hours. Our findings suggest that caffeine consumption in adolescents may lead to later bedtimes and reduced SWA, a well-established marker of sleep depth. Because deep sleep is involved in recovery processes during sleep, further research is needed to understand whether a caffeine-induced loss of sleep depth interacts with neuronal network refinement processes that occur during the sensitive period of adolescent development.

Abstract

Caffeine is the most commonly ingested psychoactive drug worldwide with increasing consumption rates among young individuals. While caffeine leads to decreased sleep quality in adults, studies investigating how caffeine consumption affects children's and adolescents' sleep remain scarce. We explored the effects of regular caffeine consumption on sleep behavior and the sleep electroencephalogram (EEG) in children and adolescents (10-16 years). While later habitual bedtimes (Caffeine 23:14 ± 11.4, Controls 22:17 ± 15.4) and less time in bed were found in caffeine consumers compared to the control group (Caffeine 08:10 ± 13.3, Controls 09:03 ± 16.1), morning tiredness was unaffected. Furthermore, caffeine consumers exhibited reduced sleep EEG slow-wave activity (SWA, 1-4.5 Hz) at the beginning of the night compared to controls (20% ± 9% average reduction across all electrodes and subjects). Comparable reductions were found for alpha activity (8.25-9.75 Hz). These effects, however, disappeared in the morning hours. Our findings suggest that caffeine consumption in adolescents may lead to later bedtimes and reduced SWA, a well-established marker of sleep depth. Because deep sleep is involved in recovery processes during sleep, further research is needed to understand whether a caffeine-induced loss of sleep depth interacts with neuronal network refinement processes that occur during the sensitive period of adolescent development.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:15 Dec 2015 10:17
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 15:32
Publisher:MDPI Publishing
ISSN:2076-3425
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci5040441
PubMed ID:26501326

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