Reichert Carolin Franziska, Veitz Simon, Buehler Miriam, Gruber Gerog, Rehm Sophia, Rentsch Katharina, Garbazza Corrado, Meyer Martin, Slawik Helen, Lin Yu-Shiuan, Weibel Janine (2020), Wide awake at bedtime? The effects of caffeine on sleep and circadian timing in teenagers - a randomized crossover trial
, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY.
Hatzinger Martin (2019), 2019 Annual Meeting of the Swiss Society for Sleep Research, Sleep Medicine, and Chronobiology (SSSSC), in Clocks & Sleep
, 1(4), 414-434.
Due to the maturation of sleep-wake regulating mechanisms and their interaction with social constraints, around 45% of adolescents suffer from inadequate sleep. At the same time, most adolescents consume caffeine and caffeine consumption rises, potentially due to the energizing effects attributed to the substance. So far, the available empirical evidence indicates that habitual caffeine consumption might reduce the adolescents’ sleep depth, which potentially in turn increases sleepiness and impairs cognitive functioning the next day. However, in teenagers, caffeine-induced effects on sleep and cognition as well as underlying cerebral mechanisms have never been systematically investigated.The present proposal aims at investigating the influence of caffeine in habitual adolescent caffeine consumers on cerebral correlates of sleep and cognitive performance. More specifically, electroencephalographic (EEG) sleep patterns and blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) activity during vigilance and working memory performance will be assessed in a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind within-subjects design. By combining measurements of sleep EEG, behavioral performance, and BOLD activity the study allows investigating the relation between caffeine-induced effects on changes in sleep structure and intensity and on neuro-cognitive processes.The project will significantly advance our understanding of caffeine-induced sleep-related and cognitive effects during adolescence. Depending on the results, the data can serve as an empirical basis for interventions to improve sleep and cognitive functioning in teenagers suffering from insufficient sleep. Given that adolescence is a sensitive phase of brain maturation, the project bears also the potential to raise questions about the impact of habitual caffeine consumption during adolescence on the further life-time development.