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Relationship between Stress and Sleep in the Behavior of Children and Adolescents


Sleep is a complex and highly organized process that interferes with the behavior of children and adolescents. The stress of daily life strikes young people and it worries parents and teachers, so it needs to be better understood.


The aim of this study was to describe the quality of sleep and the presence of stress in adolescents to evaluate if there is a relationship between sleep quality and the presence of stress behavior.


Descriptive exploratory research with a population of 118 young people, mostly female (61% ), with an average age of 13 years (SD = 2.4 years). The instruments used were the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Inventory (PSQI) and the Lipp Stress Inventory for Adolescents (SAI). The presence of stress and stress phase were described according to quality of sleep using chi-square or likelihood tests (Kirkwood and Sterne, 2006) and SPSS analyzes, with a significance level of 5%.


More than half of adolescents had poor sleep quality or presence of sleep disorders (61.9%). It was found that 25.4% of adolescents presented stress, with the psychological domain being the most predominant (11.1%) and the most frequent was phase of resistance (8.7%). The presence of stress (psychological, cognitive, physiological and interpersonal) is statistically associated with poor sleep quality or the presence of sleep disorders (p = 0.002). Virtually all adolescents with some type of stress had poor sleep quality or sleep disorders (p <0.001); only 2 adolescents with good sleep quality had stress in the interpersonal field. The results show that the presence of total stress was statistically associated with worse subjective sleep quality, higher number of sleep disturbances, higher latency and lower habitual sleep efficiency and higher frequency of daytime sleepiness (p <0, 05). Short sleep duration was statistically significantly associated only with total stress (p = 0.004).


The results of the tests show the influence between stress and sleep of young people, recognizing that cognitive issues affected their behavior. Further studies would be needed to attend this demand.




Área Clínica


Luiza Elena Leite Ribeiro Valle, Carmen Sylvia Alcântara, Eduardo Leite Ribeiro Valle