Sleep: General Characteristics. Physiological and Pathophysiological Patterns in Adolescence
Sueño: características generales. Patrones fisiológicos y fisiopatológicos en la adolescencia;
Sono: Características Gerais. Patrões fisiológicos e fisiopatológicos na adolescência
Adolescence is a critical development period, related to multiple changes in physiological and psychological functions. Sleep is one of these important functions. At this stage, the childhood sleep pattern changes to the adult sleep pattern. Sleep is a complex phenomenon, resulting from the interaction between the neuroendocrine system function, the biological clock and biochemical processes, and environmental, social and cultural elements of special significance at this stage in life. The homeostasis of these systems ensures the adolescent’s growth and development within the expected physiological parameters for this stage. The restorative function of sleep and the consequences of its alteration on cognition, daytime performance and health in general, ought to be studied. At this stage of life, it is necessary to detect sleep problems or disorders and to explore possible causes. Early therapeutic intervention is needed in order to avoid the consequences of poor sleep quality. This article summarizes the results found in the current scientific literature on sleep characteristics in adolescence and their common problems.