Cognitive control, bedtime patterns, and testing time in female adolescent students: behavioral and neuro-electrophysiological correlates

Amedeo D'Angiulli, Gabriel Byczynski, Wei Hsien Yeh, George Garrett, Gary Goldfield, Peter Devenyi, Tibor Devenyi, Gerry Leisman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Shorter and/or disrupted sleep during adolescence is associated with cognitive and mental health risks, particularly in females. We explored the relationship between bedtime behavior patterns co-varying with Social Jet Lag (SJL) and School Start Times (SST) and neurocognitive performance in adolescent female students. Methods: To investigate whether time of day (morning vs. afternoon), early SSTs and days of the school week can be correlated with neurocognitive correlates of sleep insufficiency, we recruited 24 female students aged 16-18 to report sleep logs, and undergo event-related electroencephalographic recordings on Monday, Wednesday, mornings, and afternoons. Using a Stroop task paradigm, we analyzed correlations between reaction times (RTs), accuracy, time of day, day of week, electroencephalographic data, and sleep log data to understand what relationships may exist. Results: Participants reported a 2-h sleep phase delay and SJL. Stroop interference influenced accuracy on Monday and Wednesday similarly, with better performance in the afternoon. For RTs, the afternoon advantage was much larger on Monday than Wednesday. Midline Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) yielded higher amplitudes and shorter latencies on Wednesday morning and Monday afternoon, in time windows related to attention or response execution. A notable exception were delayed ERP latencies on Wednesday afternoon. The latter could be explained by the fact that delta EEG waves tended to be the most prominent, suggesting heightened error monitoring due to accumulating mental fatigue. Discussion: These findings provide insights into the interaction between SJL and SST and suggest evidence-based criteria for planning when female adolescents should engage in cognitive-heavy school activities such as tests or exams.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1022731
Number of pages1
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 D’Angiulli, Byczynski, Yeh, Garrett, Goldfield, Devenyi, Devenyi and Leisman.


  • adolescent sleep
  • bed time behaviors
  • circadian rhythm
  • electroencephalography
  • school start time
  • sleep patterns
  • social jet lag

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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