Computer time linked to less sleep for teens


Teenagers are likely to sleep less when they have more access to screen time on an electronic device, according to a Norwegian study.1

The research examined a group of nearly 10,000 older teenagers. It aimed to correlate both the use of electronic devices and sleep patterns of Norwegian teenagers, using questionnaires to gather their information.

It found that teenagers who used any form of electronic device in the hour before they went to bed (from TVs to phones, to games consoles and tablets) took longer to get to sleep. They were also more likely to need more sleep than they actually got.

Although further analysis is required to explore the teenager's motivations for using their devices and also the types of activities being carried out on them, this provides an interesting - and possibly unsurprising - insight into the effects of visual and mental stimulation on sleep patterns.

Reference:

1 Hysing M, Pallesen S, Stormark KM, et al. Sleep and use of electronic devices in adolescence: results from a large population-based study. BMJ Open. Published online February 2 2015

News sources:

Teenagers sleep less when they have more computer screen time says study. The Guardian, February 3 2015

Banish smartphones and computers from bedroom to get a good sleep, say scientists. The Daily Telegraph, February 2 2015

Too much exposure to smartphone screens ruins your sleep, study shows. The Independent, February 3 2015

Teenagers who use screen for more than four hours a day 'take longer to fall asleep and get poorer quality rest'. Mail Online, February 3 2015

Laptops and phones are causing teens to lose sleep. Daily Express, February 3 2015