Discarding electronics can promote healthy sleep quality for adolescents

In the age of millennials, digital devices have paved the way for drastic increases in disrupted sleep patterns, especially in children and teens. Hoping to change that, researchers at Penn State released a manuscript of what they say may help improve sleep quality in young millennials, as published in the journal Pediatrics.

According to researchers, discarding electronics, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, from the bedroom and initiating a healthy sleep habit may improve sleep quality.

In the US, about 30 percent of preschool-aged children and between 50 percent and 90 percent of school-aged children have reported insomnia, based on data highlighted by researchers.

“The pervasive use of screen-based media is a likely contributor to widespread sleep insufficiency,” researchers noted.
Contributing factors of screen-based insomnia include time displacement, psychological stimulation based on media content, and the effects of light emitted from a digital device, according to the study.

“In a recent systematic review of 67 studies of screen time and media use in school-aged youth and teenagers (1999–2014), 90% found that screen time was adversely associated with sleep health, primarily via delayed bedtimes and reduced sleep duration.”

Moreover, researchers also suggested that healthy sleep patterns in childhood and adolescence may lower the risk of obesity, trouble-making behavior, and even improve cognition.

“We propose that sleep among children and adolescents should be a priority in family, school, and clinical contexts, as well as in future basic, observational, and translational research.”

“Evaluation of existing and new digital media interventions is essential to translate basic science and population-based research into improvements in sleep, health, and well-being,” the study concluded.

The National Sleep Foundation, in addition to Dr. Charles A. Czeisler, a sleep researcher, contributed to the study.