This PlosOne article examined patients enrolled in the Health eHeart Study looked at demographics, health information and sleep quality. The objective was to test the hypothesis that increased screen-time is associated with poor sleep
Total screen-time over 30 days was a median 38.4 hours (IQR 21.4 to 61.3) and average screen-time over 30 days was a median 3.7 minutes per hour (IQR 2.2 to 5.5). Younger age, self-reported race/ethnicity of Black and “Other” were associated with longer average screen-time after adjustment for potential confounders. Longer average screen-time was associated with shorter sleep duration and worse sleep-efficiency. Longer average screen-times during bedtime and the sleeping period were associated with poor sleep quality, decreased sleep efficiency, and longer sleep onset latency.
Screen-time differs across age and race, but is similar across socio-economic strata suggesting that cultural factors may drive smartphone use. Screen-time is associated with poor sleep. These findings cannot support conclusions on causation. Effect-cause remains a possibility: poor sleep may lead to increased screen-time. However, exposure to smartphone screens, particularly around bedtime, may negatively impact sleep.