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Decreases in sleep duration among U.S. adolescents and association with new media screen time
Volume 39, November 2017, Pages 47-53
Decreases in self-reported sleep duration among U.S. adolescents 2009–2015 and association with new media screen time
Jean M.Twenge a ZlatanKrizan b GarrettHisler b
San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA
Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA
Received 29 April 2017, Revised 24 August 2017, Accepted 28 August 2017, Available online 18 September 2017.
• More adolescents in 2015 (vs. 2009) slept less than 7 h a night on most nights.
• Electronic device and social media use also increased in 2009–2015.
• Electronic device and social media use increases the odds of short sleep duration.
• Smartphones may be the cause of the increase in self-reported short sleep duration.
Insufficient sleep among adolescents carries significant health risks, making it important to determine social factors that change sleep duration. We sought to determine whether the self-reported sleep duration of U.S. adolescents changed between 2009 and 2015 and examine whether new media screen time (relative to other factors) might be responsible for changes in sleep.
We drew from yearly, nationally representative surveys of sleep duration and time use among adolescents conducted since 1991 (Monitoring the Future) and 2007 (Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System of the Centers for Disease Control; total N = 369,595).
Compared to 2009, adolescents in 2015 were 16%–17% more likely to report sleeping less than 7 h a night on most nights, with an increase in short sleep duration after 2011–2013. New media screen time (electronic device use, social media, and reading news online) increased over this time period and was associated with increased odds of short sleep duration, with a clear exposure–response relationship for electronic devices after 2 or more hours of use per day. Other activities associated with short sleep duration, such as homework time, working for pay, and TV watching, were relatively stable or reduced over this time period, making it unlikely that these activities caused the sudden increase in short sleep duration.
Increased new media screen time may be involved in the recent increases (from 35% to 41% and from 37% to 43%) in short sleep among adolescents. Public health interventions should consider electronic device use as a target of intervention to improve adolescent health.
Sleep durationElectronic device useAdolescentsScreen time
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