(GIST OF SCIENCE REPORTER) Electronic Media Use Associated with Shorter Sleep in Children

(GIST OF SCIENCE REPORTER) Electronic Media Use Associated with Shorter Sleep in Children


Electronic Media Use Associated with Shorter Sleep in Children


  • Using phones, tablets and other electronic media has associated with shorter sleep in children and adolescent.

Key highlights:

  • Sleep has a major impact on the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents, and insufficient sleep has been linked to negative physical and psychological implications. A team of researchers at the University of Southern Denmark reviewed 49 studies published between 2009 and 2019, with the studies involving between 55 and 369,595 children. They assessed the potential association of electronic media use, including media type and duration, with sleep patterns.
  • The authors considered bedtime and sleep onset, sleep quality (waking up at night), sleep duration and daytime tiredness.
  • They found that electronic media use was associated with shorter sleep duration and that the association was stronger in those aged between 6 to 15 years than in children aged five and under. In children aged five and under, media use and shorter sleep were associated mainly with television and tablet use, while in those aged 6 to 15 years, this association was present with a wide range of different electronic media such as video gaming, computer, mobile phone or smartphone, and internet use as well as television among those aged 6 to 12 years.
  • The authors also found evidence of an association between electronic media use in children aged 6 to 12 years and delayed bedtime and poor sleep quality. In adolescents aged 13 to 15 screen time was associated with problems falling asleep, and social media use with poor sleep quality.
  • The authors suggest that the interactive media predominantly used by adolescents may be overly stimulating, which may explain why there is more evidence for shorter sleep in this age group. In all age groups, exposure to blue light from screens may suppress the production of melatonin – the hormone that regulates sleep – thus leading to poorer sleep duration and disturbing the natural sleep-wake cycle.



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Courtesy: Science Reporter