”Jag vill sova, men kan inte” : Ungdomars perspektiv på faktorer som försvårar och främjar deras sömn

Sammanfattning: Background: Sleeping difficulties have become increasingly prevalent among adolescents and have negative consequences on their health, well-being, and education.Aim and methods: The overall aim of this thesis was to explore adolescents’ sleep and the factors that impede and promote their sleep. Study I describes the prevalence of self-reported sleep duration and sleeping difficulties and explores their associations with school stress, self-perception, and technology use among adolescents based on a questionnaire of n = 937 adolescents, aged 15–16. Study II describes reasons for sleeping difficulties as perceived by adolescents based on an open-ended question answered by n = 475 adolescents, aged 15–16. Study III illuminates adolescents’ lived experiences of sleeping difficulties based on narrative interviews with n = 16 adolescents, aged 14–15. Study IV explores adolescents’ suggestions on how their sleep could be supported, based on eight focus groups with n = 43 adolescents, aged 15–16.Results: Fifty-five percent of the adolescents slept less than the recommended eight hours per night. School stress and technology use were associated with short sleep duration, whereas school stress and self-perception were associated with sleeping difficulties (I). Stress, technology use, poor sleep habits, existential thoughts, needs, and suffering were all perceived as reasons for sleeping difficulties (II). Having sleeping difficulties makes it challenging to go through the night and cope with the following day. It also implies a feeling of being trapped by circumstances (III). To improve sleep, adolescents suggested receiving support from involved parents, achieving knowledge about on the “whys” and “hows” of sleep, and being guided into finding balance (IV).Conclusions: Sleeping difficulties affect adolescents’ daily lives and constitute a pressing health issue. In order to deal with sleeping difficulties, adolescents need to be encouraged to narrate their experiences and circumstances, be respectfully listened to and supported by their parents, school nurses, and other significant adults.