A study published in Pediatrics found an association between the use of digital devices before bedtime and inadequate and disrupted sleep in children and adolescents. This study by Pediatrics summarizes the literature on electronic media and sleep and provides research recommendations.
This report finds that underlying mechanisms of these associations likely include the following: (1) time displacement (for example, time spent on screens replaces time spent sleeping and other activities); (2) psychological stimulation based on media content; and (3) the effects of light emitted from devices on circadian timing, sleep physiology, and alertness. Further experimental and observational research is needed to elucidate how the digital revolution is altering sleep and circadian rhythms across development (infancy to adulthood) as pathways to poor health, learning, and safety outcomes (such as obesity, depression, and risk-taking).
LeBourgeois, M. K., Hale, L., Chang, A. M., Akacem, L. D., Montgomery-Downs, H. E., & Buxton, O. M. (2017). Digital media and sleep in childhood and adolescence. Pediatrics, 140(Supplement 2), S92-S96.