Homeostatic response to sleep restriction in adolescents

Jelena Skorucak, Nathan Weber, Mary A. Carskadon, Chelsea Reynolds, Scott Coussens, Peter Achermann, Michelle A. Short

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The high prevalence of chronic sleep restriction in adolescents underscores the importance of understanding how adolescent sleep is regulated under such conditions. One component of sleep regulation is a homeostatic process: if sleep is restricted, then sleep intensity increases. Our knowledge of this process is primarily informed by total sleep deprivation studies and has been incorporated in mathematical models of human sleep regulation. Several animal studies, however, suggest that adaptation occurs in chronic sleep restriction conditions, showing an attenuated or even decreased homeostatic response. We investigated the homeostatic response of adolescents to different sleep opportunities. Thirty-four participants were allocated to one of three groups with 5, 7.5, or 10 h of sleep opportunity per night for five nights. Each group underwent a protocol of nine nights designed to mimic a school week between two weekends: two baseline nights (10 h sleep opportunity), five condition nights (5, 7.5, or 10 h), and two recovery nights (10 h). Measures of sleep homeostasis (slow-wave activity and slow-wave energy) were calculated from frontal and central EEG derivations and compared to predictions derived from simulations of the homeostatic process of the two-process model of sleep regulation. Only minor differences were found between empirical data and model predictions, indicating that sleep homeostasis is preserved under chronic sleep restriction in adolescents. These findings improve our understanding of effects of repetitive short sleep in adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberzsab106
Number of pages11
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021


  • adolescents
  • sleep homeostasis
  • sleep restriction
  • slow-wave activity


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