Interactive Screen-Based Activities Predict Worse Actigraphic Sleep Health That Night Among Adolescents

David A. Reichenberger, Lindsay Master, Gina Marie Mathew, Cynthia K. Snyder, Orfeu M. Buxton, Lauren Hale, Anne Marie Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To determine the micro-longitudinal effects of duration and timing of screen-based activities on sleep within and between adolescents. Methods: Daily survey and actigraphy data from the age 15 wave of the Future of Families and Child Wellbeing Study were analyzed using multilevel modeling. Four hundred seventy five adolescents provided three or more days of valid daily survey and nighttime sleep data. Results: Within-person results showed that on days when adolescents played video games more than their daytime average ± SE (1.3 ± 1.2 hours), sleep onset (6 ± 2 minutes, p < .01) and midpoint (4 ± 2 minutes, p < .02) were delayed for each additional hour of gaming. Between-person results showed that for each hour adolescents used screens to communicate with friends across the day, sleep onset was later (11 ± 3 minutes, p < .01), sleep midpoint was later (8 ± 3 minutes, p < .01), and sleep duration was shorter (−5 ± 2 minutes, p < .03). Adolescents who used screens to communicate with friends or play video games in the hour before bed had later sleep onset (30 ± 14 minutes, p < .03) and midpoint (25 ± 13 minutes, p < .05). Discussion: Among adolescents, passive screen usage such as browsing the Internet or watching videos may not affect sleep timing or duration, but limiting interactive screen-based activities could protect adolescent sleep health and well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)774-781
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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