Heavy Use of Electronic Devices May Harm Teens’ Sleep Quality

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Norwegian study of approximately 10,000 16- to 19-year-olds found extensive use of computers, smartphones and other electronic devices was linked to poorer quality of sleep.

Teens were at nearly 50 percent higher risk of needing more than an hour to fall asleep if they had had more than four hours of screen time that day, according to the study, published in February in the online journal BMJ Open.

In terms of individual devices, computer usage was most strongly linked to teens getting less sleep than they needed. However, teens using multiple devices were at greater risk of poor-quality sleep than were those who used only one. Study participants who used at least four devices had a 26 percent greater risk of needing an hour or more to fall asleep and were 75 percent more likely to get less than five hours of sleep than those who used just one.

The findings were based on participants’ self-reports of their sleep routines.