Sleep Interference Effects of Pathological Electronic Media Use during Adolescence

  • Daniel L. KingEmail author
  • Paul H. Delfabbro
  • Tara Zwaans
  • Dean Kaptsis


Adolescents increasingly use electronic media as a night-time activity, amid concerns about the potential negative impact on sleep and daytime functioning. The present study examined electronic media use and pathological media use in relation to sleep activity in a normative sample of Australian adolescents. A total of 1,287 high school students aged 12–18 years (50 % female) were recruited from seven secondary schools in South Australia. Adolescents completed a questionnaire assessing electronic media use, pathological media use, and sleep factors. Adolescents reported non-optimal sleep duration on weekday (71 %) and weekend nights (53 %). One in five adolescents reported nightly bedtime delay as a consequence of electronic media use. Adolescent pathological media users reported significantly more sleep problems than their non-pathological peers. These data contribute to current knowledge of how electronic media use may negatively affect adolescent sleep patterns, particularly in regard to sleep displacement and sleep-onset latency effects. Further research is needed in light of the increasing accessibility and uptake of portable electronic media devices, as well as the growing use of media as a sleeping aid, among young people.


Adolescent Sleep Media Video-gaming Internet 



With thanks to the students who participated in this study, and the teachers and principals for assistance with data collection. We are grateful to Dr Michael Gradisar for his assistance with development of the sleep questionnaire.

Declaration of interest

The authors report no conflicts of interest. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of the paper.

Financial Disclosure

This study received financial support from a 2013 RIBG Small Research Grant funded by the School of Psychology, The University of Adelaide.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel L. King
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul H. Delfabbro
    • 1
  • Tara Zwaans
    • 1
  • Dean Kaptsis
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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