Sleep spindles in adolescence: A comparison across sleep restriction and sleep extension

Chelsea Reynolds, Michael Gradisar, Scott Coussens, Michelle Short

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The tendency for adolescents to have restricted sleep has been examined in numerous studies; however, the impact of sleep restriction on adolescents’ neural activity during sleep (measured by electroencephalography (EEG)) is less extensively researched, particularly regarding sleep spindles. Methods: In this experimental study, 34 adolescents attended a 10-day laboratory study where they received five consecutive nights of either 5 h, 7.5 h or 10 h of sleep opportunity, with one adaptation, one baseline and two recovery nights of 10 h of sleep opportunity before and after the experimental phase. Results: Both within- and between-subjects effects were observed for fast sleep spindle characteristics of density, duration and amplitude. Overall, when experiencing severe sleep restriction, fast spindles in adolescents were lower in amplitude and longer in duration. Sex differences were also seen for fast spindle amplitude. Conclusions: This investigation adds to the knowledge in this field by investigating specific sleep spindle characteristics in the context of experimentally manipulated sleep. Sleep restriction is highly prevalent among adolescents. These findings indicate that chronic sleep restriction has an impact on brain activity related to sleep spindles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-174
Number of pages9
JournalSleep Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • Adolescents
  • EEG
  • Sleep restriction
  • Sleep spindles


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