Psychological Sciences

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Study Objectives: The aim of the current study was to test a multilevel mediation model that examined how adolescent sleep duration might be linked to depressive symptoms via their daytime energy levels. Furthermore, the study examined how parents' enforcement of various types of bedtime rules predicted the duration of adolescent sleep.

Methods: A total of 193 adolescent (ages 14-17; Mage = 15.7 years old, SD = .94; 54.4% female; 71% Caucasian) and parent dyads completed baseline, online surveys, and adolescents also completed online 7-day, twice-daily (i.e., morning and evening) reports of their sleep duration (morning diary) and their energy levels and depressive symptoms throughout the day (evening diary). Parents (Mage = 47.6 years old, SD = 5.4; 80% female) completed assessments of enforcement of bedtime-related rules (i.e., bedtime, cessation of electronic media usage, prohibiting afternoon/evening caffeine consumption). Multilevel modeling enabled the testing of the mediation model both at the between-person level and within individuals.

Results: Results suggested that adolescents' energy levels mediated the association between adolescents' sleep duration and depressive symptoms. Furthermore, both greater enforcement of bedtimes and later school start times predicted longer sleep durations for adolescents, and were indirectly associated with adolescents' depressive symptoms.

Conclusions: These findings underscore the importance of adolescents obtaining sufficient sleep to support their mental health and suggest a critical point of intervention for preventing or decreasing insufficient sleep. Given the diverse threats to adolescents' sleep as well as adolescents' desire for greater independence, collaborative, autonomy-promoting bedtime limit-setting is recommended to support adolescents' well-being.


adolescence, sleep, bedtimes, depression, mental health




© Sleep Research Society 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Sleep Research Society. All rights reserved.

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Sleep. The final version of the article is available at

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