Sleep and Media

Overview

Media use can affect young people’s sleep in a variety of ways. Research shows that some children and adolescents experience problems with sleep onset, duration, and quality, all resulting from the use of screen media before bed and throughout the night. Use this guide to start exploring the topic of sleep and media.


Books & Chapters

The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life (2018)
Designed for parents, this book by NPR Reporter Anya Kamenetz examines research-based findings about the physical and psychological impacts of digital media on children, including research about screen-time and sleep.

From Smartphones to Social Media : How Technology Affects our Brains and Behavior (2018)
See chapter 10 for a section about technology’s effects on sleep behavior for people of all ages.

Journals

Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Journal of Children and Media (JOCAM)
SLEEP
Pediatrics
Sleep Health
Sleep Medicine

Articles

Falbe, J., et al. (2015). Sleep duration, restfulness, and screens in the sleep environment. Pediatrics 135(2), e367-e375. doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-230

Figueiro, M., & Overington, D. (2016). Self-luminous devices and melatonin suppression in adolescents. Light Res Technol, 48(8), 966–975. doi:10.1177/1477153515584979

Garrison, M. M., Liekweg, K., & Christakis, D. A. (2011). Media use and child sleep: The impact of content, timing, and environment. Pediatrics, 128(1), 29–35. doi:10.1542/peds.2010-3304

Hale, L., & Guan, S. (2015). Screen time and sleep among school-aged children and adolescents: A systematic literature review. Sleep Med Rev, 21, 50–58. doi:10.1016/j.smrv.2014.07.007

Hale, L., Kirschen, G. W., LeBourgeois, M. K., Gradisar, M., Garrison, M. M., Montgomery-Downs, H., … Buxton, O. M. (2018). Youth screen media habits and sleep: Sleep-friendly screen behavior recommendations for clinicians, educators, and parents. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am, 27(2), 229–245. doi:10.1016/j.chc.2017.11.014

Ivarsson, M., Anderson, M., Akerstedt, T., & Lindblad, F. (2013). The effect of violent and nonviolent video games on heart rate variability, sleep, and emotions in adolescents with different violent gaming habits. Psychosom Med. 75(4), 390-396. doi:10.1097/PSY.0b013e3182906a4c

LeBourgeois, M. K., et al. (2017). Digital media and sleep in childhood and adolescence. Pediatrics, 140(Supplement 2), S92-S96. doi:10.1542/peds.2016-1758J

Lemola, S., Perkinson-Gloor, N., Brand, S., Dewald-Kaufmann, J., & Grob, A. (2015). Adolescents’ electronic media use at night, sleep disturbance, and depressive symptoms in the smartphone age. J Youth Adolesc, 44, 405–418. doi:10.1007/s10964-014-0176-x

Levenson, J. C., Shensa, A., Sidani, J. E., Colditz, J. B., & Primack, B. A. (2016). The association between social media use and sleep disturbance among young adults. Prev Med, 85, 36–41. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.01.001

Lin, J., et al. (2019). The relationship among screen use, sleep, and emotional/behavioral difficulties in preschool children with neurodevelopmental disorders. J Dev Behav Pediatr. doi:10.1097/DBP.0000000000000683

Nuutinen, T., Ray, C., & Roos, E. (2013). Do computer use, TV viewing, and the presence of the media in the bedroom predict school-aged children’s sleep habits in a longitudinal study?. BMC Public Health, 13, 684. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-684

Twenge, J.M., Hisler, G.C., & Krizan, Z. (2018). Associations between screen time and sleep duration are primarily driven by portable electronic devices: Evidence from a population-based study of U.S. children ages 0-17. Sleep Med, 56, 211-218. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2018.11.009

Peracchia, S., & Curcio, G. (2018). Exposure to video games: Effects on sleep and on post-sleep cognitive abilities. A sistematic review of experimental evidences. Sleep Sci, 11(4), 302–314. doi:10.5935/1984-0063.20180046

Websites

National Sleep Foundation (NSF)
NSF is a non-profit whose website provides sleep-related research findings and resources based on topic and age group.

Healthychildren.org: Sleep
Run by the American Academy of Pediatrics, this site offers general information about sleep and children, as well as a tool to calculate media use and create a family media use plan.

Sleep Education
This resource, sponsored by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, presents research results in a blog-style format.

Researchers of Note

Lauren Hale
Sakari Lemola
Tejia Nuutinen

Policies & Guidelines

American Academy of Pediatrics Supports Childhood Sleep Guidelines
American Academy of Sleep Medicine, American Academy of Pediatrics

Guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep for children under 5 years of age
World Health Organization

Reports

Screens and Sleep
Common Sense Media