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Open AccessArticle

Impact of Adolescents’ Screen Time and Nocturnal Mobile Phone-Related Awakenings on Sleep and General Health Symptoms: A Prospective Cohort Study

1
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, 4051 Basel, Switzerland
2
University of Basel, 4001 Basel, Switzerland
3
Berlin School of Public Health, Charité, Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 518; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030518
Received: 17 December 2018 / Revised: 5 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
Nocturnal media use has been linked to adolescents’ sleeping problems in cross-sectional studies which do not address reverse causality. To prospectively assess the new occurrence of sleep problems or health symptoms in relation to electronic media use and nocturnal mobile phone use, we used data from the longitudinal Swiss HERMES (Health Effects Related to Mobile phone usE in adolescentS) cohort on 843 children from 7th to 9th grade. Logistic regression models were fitted and adjusted for relevant confounders. Adolescents reporting at baseline and follow-up at least one nocturnal awakenings from their own mobile phone per month were more likely to have developed restless sleep (Odds Ratio (OR): 5.66, 95% Confidence Interval: 2.24–14.26) and problems falling asleep (3.51, 1.05–11.74) within one year compared to adolescents without nocturnal awakenings. A similar pattern was observed for developing symptoms, although somewhat less pronounced in terms of the magnitude of the odds ratios. With respect to high screen time at baseline and follow-up, associations were observed for falling asleep (2.41, 1.41–4.13), exhaustibility (1.76, 1.02–3.03), lack of energy (1.76, 1.04–2.96) and lack of concentration (2.90, 1.55–5.42). Our results suggest a detrimental effect of screen time and mobile phone-related awakenings on sleep problems and related health symptoms. However, the results should be interpreted cautiously with respect to adolescents’ natural changes in circadian rhythm, which may coincidence with an increase in mobile phone and media use. View Full-Text
Keywords: media use; epidemiology; smartphones; adolescents; sleep; awakenings media use; epidemiology; smartphones; adolescents; sleep; awakenings
MDPI and ACS Style

Foerster, M.; Henneke, A.; Chetty-Mhlanga, S.; Röösli, M. Impact of Adolescents’ Screen Time and Nocturnal Mobile Phone-Related Awakenings on Sleep and General Health Symptoms: A Prospective Cohort Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 518.

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