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Circadian rhythmicity and decision making in high school students: a longitudinal approach

Grant number: 23/00259-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2023
Effective date (End): October 31, 2027
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine
Principal Investigator:Vânia D'Almeida
Grantee:Luisa da Costa Lopes
Host Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Adolescence is a critical time for developing essential cognitive s marked by biological and behavioral changes. Circadian patterns, including the sleep-wake rhythm, are largely marked by changes at this age, including a tendency toward evening phase preference. The gap between circadian preference and the set times for social obligations is called social jetlag. This condition is common in adolescence, due to schedules assigned to school activities, and leads to the accumulation of sleep debt during the week. As the main circadian synchronizer is the alternation between light and dark, the habit of exposing yourself to artificial light at night disturbs the circadian system and consequently sleep. The combination of these factors leads most adolescents to have insufficient sleep time, a condition that affects both performance in cognitive functions and emotionality. Cognitive functions associated with the capacity for planning and behavioral monitoring, essential for cognitive control and emotional regulation, are essential for decision-making, a process commonly impulsive in adolescence. The present project aims to evaluate the impact of the passage of time on sleep-wake patterns and on the decision-making process, in adolescents. To this end, two longitudinal stages will be carried out that will extend throughout high school. At one-year intervals, volunteers will be evaluated using questionnaires and scales regarding: circadian preferences, sleep quality, well-being, impulsivity and decision making. In addition to the evaluation of sleep-wake rhythm patterns and social jetlag, a subsample will also be evaluated by means of actigraphy. Continuously monitoring sleep, rhythm and well-being parameters will allow us to assess how these parameters change during high school, in addition to their possible associations. (AU)

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