A new study has established the association between sleep disorders, particularly in adolescents, and the devices that emit blue light, such as smartphones, laptops and game consoles.
The researchers conducted a survey and analyzed the responses from almost 10,000 teenagers, between age group 16 and 19, in Western Norway and found that the blue light emitting screen gadgets have a very adverse effect on the sleeping patterns of the users, especially the youths.
Study lead author Mari Hysing, of Uni Research Health in Bergen, Norway, said, “There are probably many possible pathways between screen time and sleep, some of which are direct. The light from the screens may directly affect our circadian rhythms, and teenagers may be especially sensitive.”
According to the researchers, over 90 percent of girls and 80 percent of boys were found engages in using a cell phone on bed before sleeping. Laptops were almost as common as the smartphones that were used by teens during bed time.
Throughout the day, the girls averaged 5.5 hours of screen time with any light emitting device, such as a cell phone, personal computer, tablet, game console, television or MP3 player. On the other hand, the boys showed average of nearly seven hours per day of screen time with any light emitting device. The researchers found that a large proportion of the screen hours were spent by the users while chatting online. The study also showed girls and boys spent an average of half per hour each day on emails. While boys were also seen spending almost an hour on video games console and over an hour on PC games.
Such device use in the hour ahead of bed time was linked with a 13-52 percent rise in the possibility of needing over 60 minutes to fall asleep, according to the researchers.
The study also showed that over four daytime hours of screen time was linked to a similar rise in sleep latency risk or even high risk of taking a long time to fall asleep. The screen time was also associated with a high risk of at least two hours of sleep deficit.
Gradisar, who has not participated in the study, reportedly said, “This study by Hysing and colleagues was eye-opening as they showed that screen use above the recommended two hours per day was associated with sleep durations well below the norm, and in the range we see linked with poor school performance, emotional disturbances, and in some cases suicidal ideation.”
According to the recommendation of the National Sleep Foundation, teens must avoid eating, drinking, or even exercising few hours before their bedtime and they should also avoid watching TV or talking on phone or working on computer in the hour before bedtime.
The findings of the study were detailed in the journal BMJ Open.