1. After school screen-time of more than 4 hours was associated with increased sleep deprivation and sleep onset latency in adolescents.
2. Delay in sleep onset was increased in adolescents who used 4 or more devices compared to one device.
Evidence Rating Level: 3 (Average)
Study Rundown: Over the past 10 years, the use of electronic devices has become increasingly prevalent amongst adolescents. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between increased screen-time from electronics use and sleep deprivation in adolescents. 9875 adolescents from the ages of 16-19 participated in this study through questionnaires which evaluated time spent using electronic devices and sleep patterns. While both genders were found to be at increased risk for daily sleep deprivation (≥2 h) with higher screen-times, electronics use was skewed more towards game consoles and PC gaming for boys and online chatting and other PC use for girls. Sleep deficit was associated with greater than 4 hours of screen-time after school with an increasing risk of sleep deprivation with increased screen-time. Further, screen-time of more than 4 hours after school was associated with increased odds of sleep onset latency (SOL) of more than 60 minutes.
While the negative relationship between electronic devices and hours of sleep were noted, the cross-sectional design of this study does not allow for conclusion of causation. Although, measures of sleep deprivation and SOL were self-reported, studies have reported good agreement between official actigraphy measurements and questionnaire answers. This study adds further evidence demonstrating the deleterious effect of screen-time on sleep and should spur guidance to patients on better governing electronic use time.
Relevant Reading: Text messaging as a cause of sleep interruption in adolescents
In-Depth [cross-sectional study]: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between after school screen-time, including PC, gaming console, and cellular phone use, and sleep deprivation. 9875 adolescents between the ages of 16-19 years participated in this study via voluntary questionnaire during spring of 2012. Daily sleep deficit of ³2 hours was associated with longer than 4 hours of screen-time after school (Odds Ratio 1.49, CI95% 1.36-1.64). SOL of greater than 60 minutes was higher in participants who used greater than 4 devices as compared to one device (OR 3.64, CI95% 3.06 to 4.33) and who had more than 4 hours of screen-time after school (OR 1.89 CI95% 1.36-1.64). While any increased electronic device use presented a dose-response relationship with sleep deprivation, general PC use had the greatest odds of sleeping 5 hours or less (OR 2.70, CI95% 2.14 to 3.39).
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