What's “app”-ning to adolescent sleep? Links between device, app use, and sleep outcomes

Meg Pillion*, Michael Gradisar, Kate Bartel, Hannah Whittall, Michal Kahn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study investigated the associations between adolescent evening use of technology devices and apps, night time sleep, and daytime sleepiness. Participants were 711 adolescents aged 12–18 years old (46% Female, Mage = 15.1, SD = 1.2). Time spent using technology devices and apps in the hour before bed, and in bed before sleep onset, was self-reported. Participants additionally completed a questionnaire about their sleep on school nights and next day sleepiness. In the hour before bed, 30 min of phone use was associated with a 9-min delay in bedtimes. Thirty minutes spent using laptops, gaming consoles, and watching YouTube was associated with later lights out times of 9 min, ∼16 min and ∼11 min respectively, while watching TV was associated with a 9 min earlier lights out times. Using gaming consoles and watching YouTube were associated with greater odds of receiving insufficient sleep (≤7 h TST). In bed before sleep onset, 30 min spent using laptops, phones, iPad/tablets, and watching YouTube were linked with later lights out times of ∼7 min for phones and laptops, 9 min for iPad/tablets, and ∼13 min for YouTube. Watching Netflix was associated with greater daytime sleepiness. YouTube at this time point was associated with increased odds of sleeping ≤7 h on school nights. Adolescents are engaging with a wide range of technology devices and apps in the evenings. However, certain devices and apps (e.g., phones, laptops, gaming and YouTube) might lead to more negative sleep outcomes for adolescents on school nights compared to others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-182
Number of pages9
JournalSleep Medicine
Volume100
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Apps
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Devices
  • Screens
  • Sleep

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