Every section of our round-the-clock society is plagued with the problem of sleep deprivation. Genetic studies conducted on lower organism have revealed that the measurement of salivary alpha amylase (sAA) levels could be a useful noninvasive diagnostic tool for the assessment of sleepiness in human beings. But the reports at population level are still lacking. The present study was conducted longitudinally over a period of 2 years and was targeted upon the adolescent school-going students whose sleep requirements and obtained sleep duration differs widely due to school timings, assignments, and social activities. Totally, 168 healthy school-going adolescents studying in ninth grade were selected randomly from morning shift (n = 84) and dayshift (n = 84) schools. The study encompassed administration of questionnaire and collection of saliva samples from the participants. Salivary alpha amylase activity was estimated spectrophotometrically and statistical analysis was performed in order to determine its association with sleep duration and sleepiness level. Findings reveal that sAA could be the most appropriate noninvasive biochemical marker for the objective assessment of sleep deprivation among individuals as well as at population level.
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