A new study suggests that adolescent sleep quality is associated with connectedness to peers and sensitivity to peer rejection.
Results show that increased sleep quality during both weekdays and weekends was associated with increased connectedness with peers. Increased variability in weekday, but not weekend sleep quality, was associated with decreased connectedness to peers and increased sensitivity to peer rejection.
“Adolescents typically do not acquire the recommended amount of sleep needed for their age, and most adolescents strongly value their social interactions with their peers. Our study shows that both of these processes are at odds among adolescents because poor sleep quality is associated with poor social functioning,” said lead author Salvatore Insana, PhD, postdoctoral scholar in the department of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh.
According to Insana, it is likely that the relationship between adolescent sleep quality and social functioning is bidirectional.
“Poor social functioning may lead to poor sleep quality, and poor sleep quality may lead to poor social functioning,” said Insana. “Since adolescence is an important time to develop healthy social skills that can last a lifetime, this cycle could potentially lead to problems with developing social relationships in the future and could also potentially be broken if adolescents get better sleep.”
The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal SLEEP.