Electronic media and sleep

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The use of computers (including devices such as smartphones, tablet computers and laptops) by children and adolescents before bed has been associated with a reduction in the hours of sleep experienced by frequent users, along with a decreased quality of sleep, in most cases. The results of computer use at night have been linked with tiredness.

A 2010 review concluded that "the use of electronic media by children and adolescents does have a negative impact on their sleep, although the precise effects and mechanisms remain unclear", with the most consistent results associating excessive media use with shorter sleep duration and delayed bed times.[1] A 2016 meta-analysis found that "Bedtime access and use of media devices was significantly associated with inadequate sleep quantity; poor sleep quality; and excessive daytime sleepiness".[2]

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends screen time for children be limited for multiple reasons, among them that "Too much screen time can also harm the amount and quality of sleep".[3]

Many apps promise to improve sleep by filtering out blue light produced by media devices; there have been no large studies to assess whether such apps work. Some users express dissatisfaction with the resultant orange tint of screens. Some people use blue-blocking glasses, for the purpose of attempting to block out blue light both from electronic media and from other artificial light sources.[4]

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  1. ^ Cain, Neralie; Gradisar, Michael (15 February 2010). "Electronic media use and sleep in school-aged children and adolescents: a review". Sleep Medicine. 11 (8): 735–742. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2010.02.006. PMID 20673649.
  2. ^ Carter, Ben; Rees, Philippa; Hale, Lauren; Bhattacharjee, Darsharna; Paradkar, Mandar S. (1 December 2016). "Association Between Portable Screen-Based Media Device Access or Use and Sleep Outcomes" (PDF). JAMA Pediatrics. 170 (12): 1202–1208. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.2341. PMC 5380441. PMID 27802500.
  3. ^ "American Academy of Pediatrics Announces New Recommendations for Children's Media Use". www.aap.org. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Apps Can Cut Blue Light From Devices, But Do They Help You Sleep?". NPR.org. 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2018.