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Title: Shorter Duration and Lower Quality Sleep Have Widespread Detrimental Effects on Developing Functional Brain Networks in Early Adolescence
Abstract Sleep is critical for cognitive health, especially during complex developmental periods such as adolescence. However, its effects on maturating brain networks that support cognitive function are only partially understood. We investigated the impact of shorter duration and reduced quality sleep, common stressors during development, on functional network properties in early adolescence—a period of significant neural maturation, using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging from 5566 children (median age = 120.0 months; 52.1% females) in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development cohort. Decreased sleep duration, increased sleep latency, frequent waking up at night, and sleep-disordered breathing symptoms were associated with lower topological efficiency, flexibility, and robustness of visual, sensorimotor, attention, fronto-parietal control, default-mode and/or limbic networks, and with aberrant changes in the thalamus, basal ganglia, hippocampus, and cerebellum (P < 0.05). These widespread effects, many of which were body mass index-independent, suggest that unhealthy sleep in early adolescence may impair neural information processing and integration across incompletely developed networks, potentially leading to deficits in their cognitive correlates, including attention, reward, emotion processing and regulation, memory, and executive control. Shorter sleep duration, frequent snoring, difficulty waking up, and daytime sleepiness had additional detrimental network effects in nonwhite participants, indicating racial disparities in the influence of sleep metrics.
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Award ID(s):
2116707 1940096 1649865 1658414
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Cerebral Cortex Communications
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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