Screen-Based Media and Sleep Outcomes: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

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Carter B, Rees P, Hale L, Bhattacharjee D, Paradkar MS. Association Between Portable Screen-Based Media Device Access or Use and Sleep OutcomesA Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatr. Published online October 31, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.2341

Key Points

Question

Is there an association between screen-based media device access or use in the sleep environment, and sleep quantity and quality?

Findings

A systematic review and meta-analysis showed strong and consistent evidence of an association between access to or the use of devices and reduced sleep quantity and quality, as well as increased daytime sleepiness.

Meaning

An integrated approach among teachers, health care professionals, and parents is needed to improve sleep hygiene.

Abstract

Importance

Sleep is vital to children’s biopsychosocial development. Inadequate sleep quantity and quality is a public health concern with an array of detrimental health outcomes. Portable mobile and media devices have become a ubiquitous part of children’s lives and may affect their sleep duration and quality.

Objective

To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine whether there is an association between portable screen-based media device (eg, cell phones and tablet devices) access or use in the sleep environment and sleep outcomes.

Data Sources

A search strategy consisting of gray literature and 24 Medical Subject Headings was developed in Ovid MEDLINE and adapted for other databases between January 1, 2011, and June 15, 2015. Searches of the published literature were conducted across 12 databases. No language restriction was applied.

Study Selection

The analysis included randomized clinical trials, cohort studies, and cross-sectional study designs. Inclusion criteria were studies of school-age children between 6 and 19 years. Exclusion criteria were studies of stationary exposures, such as televisions or desktop or personal computers, or studies investigating electromagnetic radiation.

Data Extraction and Synthesis

Of 467 studies identified, 20 cross-sectional studies were assessed for methodological quality. Two reviewers independently extracted data.

Main Outcomes and Measures

The primary outcomes were inadequate sleep quantity, poor sleep quality, and excessive daytime sleepiness, studied according to an a priori protocol.

Results

Twenty studies were included, and their quality was assessed. The studies involved 125 198 children (mean [SD] age, 14.5 [2.2] years; 50.1% male). There was a strong and consistent association between bedtime media device use and inadequate sleep quantity (odds ratio [OR], 2.17; 95% CI, 1.42-3.32) (P < .001, I2 = 90%), poor sleep quality (OR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.14-1.88) (P = .003, I2 = 76%), and excessive daytime sleepiness (OR, 2.72; 95% CI, 1.32-5.61) (P = .007, I2 = 50%). In addition, children who had access to (but did not use) media devices at night were more likely to have inadequate sleep quantity (OR, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.39-2.31) (P < .001, I2 = 64%), poor sleep quality (OR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.11-2.10) (P = .009, I2 = 74%), and excessive daytime sleepiness (OR, 2.27; 95% CI, 1.54-3.35) (P < .001, I2 = 24%).

Conclusions and Relevance

To date, this study is the first systematic review and meta-analysis of the association of access to and the use of media devices with sleep outcomes. Bedtime access to and use of a media device were significantly associated with the following: inadequate sleep quantity, poor sleep quality, and excessive daytime sleepiness. An integrated approach among teachers, health care professionals, and parents is required to minimize device access at bedtime, and future research is needed to evaluate the influence of the devices on sleep hygiene and outcomes.

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