Constructs of Sleep Disturbance and Mental Well-being in Older UK Adolescents

Margaret Husted, Laura Naylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Poor sleep quality can have far reaching physical and mental health consequences (Alvaro, Roberts & Harris, 2014; Ribeiro et al., 2012). This study explores sleep quality in older adolescents; specifically, whether insomnia constructs have unique patterns of association to depression, anxiety and stress. Data from 16-19-year old’s (n=198) recruited from further education colleges were obtained. Sleep quality was assessed using the diagnostic criteria for insomnia (DSM-5), Insomnia Severity Index and self-report. The Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21) was used to measure mental health state. A large proportion (42-52%) reported sleep difficulties lasting four weeks or more, with 17% short-sleepers (<7hrs.). Regression analysis indicated 12.1%-17.8% of variance in mental health was explained by sleep quality. Specifically, “non-restorative sleep” and “daily impact” consistently predicted depression, anxiety and stress levels. Interestingly, “maintaining sleep” and “early wakings”, were associated with anxiety and stress respectively. Results indicate for a potentially large group of adolescents; sleep quality is poor. The cumulative effect of poor sleep appears particularly detrimental. Results provide preliminary indications that sleep behaviours could provide a means for early identification of mental health concerns. Findings can inform tailored interventions aimed at improving sleep quality in adolescents thereby having clear benefits in relation to both short, and longer term, health outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-36
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Psychology Update
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

Cite this

Husted, M., & Naylor, L. (2020). Constructs of Sleep Disturbance and Mental Well-being in Older UK Adolescents. Health Psychology Update, 29(1), 27-36.