Tags: screens | affect | sleep | teens | research

Screens Affect Sleep Patterns in Teens, Say Researchers

By    |   Wednesday, 04 February 2015 08:01 AM

Device screens like smartphones and laptops affect the sleep of teenagers, say the authors of a new study.

Reuters reported that researchers at the Uni Research Health in Norway surveyed roughly 10,000 young people ages 16 to 19 about their technology usage and sleep patterns to make their finding.

In the end, they made a number of conclusions, however the one that stood out was this: Teens who used a device within an hour of going to bed were 13 to 52 percent more likely to need more than an hour to fall asleep. This "sleep latency" was also found to be correlated with more than four hours of daytime screen hours in general.

"The light from the screens may directly affect our circadian rhythms, and teenagers may be especially sensitive," said the study's lead author, Mari Hysing. "There is now much evidence, including this study, to suggest that screen time has a direct effect on sleep."

Michael Gradisar, a clinical psychologist and sleep researcher at Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia, told Reuters that the study was groundbreaking.

"This study by Hysing and colleagues was eye-opening because they showed that screen use above the recommended two hours per day was associated with sleep durations well below the norm, and in the range we see linked with poor school performance, emotional disturbances, and in some cases suicidal ideation," he said.

Hysing was careful to note that the study did not prove that increased screen time was the cause of decreased sleep, only that the two were correlated.

Emma Adam, a developmental psychologist at Northwestern University in Chicago, commented similarly on the study.

"We can’t rule out the possibility that they use screens more because they can’t sleep, but certainly there is other evidence that screen time right before bed affects sleep."

The new study was published in the most recent issue of the journal BMJ Open.

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Device screens like smartphones and laptops affect the sleep of teenagers, say the authors of a new study.
screens, affect, sleep, teens, research
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 08:01 AM
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