Authors: Heejung Park, Jessica J. Chiang, Julienne E. Bower, Michael R. Irwin, David M. Almeida, Teresa E. Seeman, Heather McCreath, Andrew J. Fuligni
Source: Journal of Adolescent Health. vol. 67, no. 6, December 2020, pp 821-828. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2020.04.015
Publication type: Article
Purpose: This study investigated the extent to which multiple sleep dimensions are associated with inflammation during adolescents' transition to young adulthood, a developmental period when sleep difficulties and systemic inflammation levels are on the rise. Additionally, the moderating roles of socioeconomic status (SES) and ethnicity were explored.
Methods: A total of 350 Asian American, Latino, and European American youth participated at two-year intervals in wave 1 (n = 316, M-age = 16.40), wave 2 (n = 248 including 34 new partici-pants to refresh the sample, Mage = 18.31), and wave 3 (n = 180, M-age = 20.29). Sleep duration (weekday and weekend) and variability in duration (nightly and weekday/weekend) were obtained from eight nights of wrist actigraphy. Subjective sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker of systemic inflammation, were assayed from dried blood spots obtained from finger pricks.
Results: Multilevel models demonstrated that greater weekday/weekend sleep variability and worse sleep quality were associated with higher CRP; shorter weekend duration was associated with higher CRP only at younger ages. Shorter weekday duration was associated with higher CRP only among high-SES youth, whereas greater nightly variability was associated with higher CRP only among European American youth.
Conclusions: Aspects of poor sleep may contribute to the rise of CRP during adolescents' transition to young adulthood, especially in earlier years. In addition, some sleep-CRP associations may vary as a function of youth's SES and ethnicity.