A recent Norwegian study shows that teens spending too much time on electronic devices during the day are more likely to have a disrupted sleep at night.
Scientists think that two of the possible reasons for the phenomenon may be linked to the devices over-stimulating the nervous system or having a bad influence on the body’s natural rhythms.
The study involved almost 10,000 adolescents aged 16 to 19 and living in Norway. The teens were questioned about their habit of spending time in front of a screen, which included TV watching, console gaming, online playing, surfing the Internet, or chatting on social media. Additionally, they were also requested to assess the amount and quality of their night sleep.
Scientists found that teens using a smartphone, computer, tablet or even an MP3 player within the hour before going to bed had the highest risk of taking more than 60 minutes to fall asleep.
The current recommendation is not to have a TV in the bedroom. It seems, however, that there may be other electronic devices exerting the same negative influence on sleep, such as PCs and mobile phones. The results confirm recommendations for restricting media use in general,”
the scientists explained.
Teens spending too many hours before a screen during the day were also more likely to find it hard to fall asleep.
Study authors explained, though, that their study wasn’t initially meant to find whether the devices were actually causing sleep disruptions. But in the meantime a link between electronic device use and disrupted sleep in teens emerged.
The findings also revealed that teens staying in front of a screen more than 4 hours a day had nearly a 50 percent higher risk of taking longer than an hour to fall asleep. Also, those spending more than 2 hours using an electronic device had also an increased risk of disrupted sleep, as well as of spending less time sleeping.
Researchers found that teens spendingthat spent at least 2 hours online were three times more lilely to sleep less than 5 hours at night, although they had reported that they usually need 8 to 9 hours of sleep to feel fully rested. Those having more than 4 hours of screen time were 3.5 times more likely to get less than 5 hours of sleep.
The study also revealed computers were to blame for most cases of disrupted sleep, and were also the most commonly used electronic devices by teens.
Multitasking teens, who used more than one type of screen, had a significantly higher risk of getting less sleep and/or taking longer to fall asleep than their peers who used only one type of electronic device, researchers said.
The study was published February 2 in the journal BMJ Open.
Image Source: Better Parenting Institute