Andrea Silva-Caballero

Grant Type

Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

Institutional Affiliation

Independent Scholar

Grant number

Gr. 10385

Approve Date

October 11, 2022

Project Title

Silva-Caballero, Andrea (Independent Scholar) "Adolescent sleep development and variability in non-industrial environments: patterning, efficiency and cultural representations"

Sleep is crucial for human health and development, including restorative functions, learning, energy conservation and emotional life. The amount of sleep for functional human development remains unclear and likely reflects contextual variation. Using biosocial, anthropological perspectives, my study compares sleep patterns of adolescents living in two non-industrial and one industrial society in Mexico to uncover functional aspects of sleep during the plastic flexible period of adolescence. Studies of contemporary, industrialized societies describe the tendency for adolescents’ sleeping and waking times as later than childhood, with sleep deficits commonly on school nights and with social and cultural demands, including access to electronic, screen-based technological amenities contributing to unhealthy sleep habits. My study examines whether the shift in the sleep-wake cycle of adolescents reported in industrialized populations is replicated in non-industrialized societies, and what bio-socio-cultural factors (working/schooling efforts, exposure to light and screen-based devices, gender and social sleep practices) influence the quality and duration of their sleep. My proposal involves writing four articles addressing adolescent sleep quality, circadian activity patterns, sleep phenomenology and cultural expectations, and methodological issues for adolescent sleep research. These papers will contribute to anthropology by illuminating sleep development and variation, thus revealing the natural history of human sleep.