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.
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
National Sleep Foundation (NSF)
NSF is a non-profit whose website provides sleep-related research findings and resources based on topic and age group.
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.
This resource, sponsored by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, presents research results in a blog-style format.
Researchers of Note
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
Screens and Sleep
Common Sense Media