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Electronic device use in bed reduces sleep duration and quality in adults

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The purpose of this study was to explore the impact that portable electronic device use in bed after lights out has on sleep/wake behaviour within an adult population. Specifically, this study aimed to (1) identify patterns of use of electronic devices in bed; (2) examine the relationship between electronic device use in bed and sleep/wake behaviour; and (3) examine the impact of demographic variables on electronic device use in bed. Using a cross-sectional design, telephone interviews were conducted with 1,225 participants (52% female). Survey questions asked about participant demographic variables, their sleep/wake history, and their pre-sleep behaviours, which included electronic device usage. Forty-two percent of participants reported using electronic devices in bed after lights out, and 27% of adults who reported ‘always’ using electronic devices in bed were spending over an hour per night using them. Sleep characteristics were significantly different in device users compared to non-device users (p < 0.001). Frequency of device use was associated with later sleep times, and duration of device use was associated with shorter sleep duration and decreased sleep quality. Older adults were less likely to use devices in bed after lights out, and had less duration of usage. Electronic device use in bed was found to reduce sleep duration and sleep quality in adults. To further our understanding of the impact device use in bed has on adult sleep behaviour, future studies should consider employing objective measurements of both sleep behaviour and device usage.

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Correspondence to Gabrielle Rigney.

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On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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The 2016R2 NSS received approval by the Human Ethics Research Review Panel at CQUniversity before administration to the general public. Project: H14/09-203, NATIONAL SOCIAL SURVEY 2016.

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Lastella, M., Rigney, G., Browne, M. et al. Electronic device use in bed reduces sleep duration and quality in adults. Sleep Biol. Rhythms 18, 121–129 (2020).

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