Digital Media Use and Sleep Disturbances in Children and Adolescents - Introduction


Good quality, continuous and sufficient sleep is important for daily functioning and for physiological and cognitive health. Amongst children and adolescents – who are at a stage in life when they are constantly growing and developing – sleep is especially essential.


The Israeli Pediatric Association and the Israel Sleep Research Society have formulated recommendations for the recommended number of hours children and adolescents should sleep per night, by age, and determined that children & adolescents of school age require 8–10 hours of sleep per day


Recommended number of hours’ sleep per night, by age


Sleep disturbances are common amongst adults, children and infants and are found to be associated with increased risk of morbidity and a variety of psychological and cognitive problems. A number of physiological and behavioral risk factors are associated with sleep disturbances amongst children and adolescents. In this regard, a question concerning the effect of digital technologies use (television, computer, mobile phone, etc.) on sleep duration and quality arises.

This question is made more pressing by the growing use of digital media, the increase in the number of digital devices in children’s bedrooms which influences their use immediately before lights out, and the implementation of E-learning programs in schools (including homework assignments).

Since the average number of hours’ sleep for most young people is lower than the recommended (in Israel young people sleep on average 7.22 hours on school nights), and the existence of sleep disturbances are a common phenomenon in the population, the possible association between digital media use and sleep disturbances amongst children and adolescents should be investigated.



Sleep patterns amongst middle school students in Israel

(Sleep latency - time to fall asleep)


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Updated: 15.7.2018