Research Article| Volume 7, ISSUE 4, P491-499, August 2021

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Bedtime media use and sleep: evidence for bidirectional effects and associations with attention control in adolescents



      Bedtime media use has been associated with poor sleep and attention difficulties among adolescents, but much of this research has been cross-sectional, limiting current understanding of directionality of effects. This 2-wave prospective study tested bidirectional effects between bedtime media use and sleep measures, including time in bed, sleep onset latency, and daytime sleepiness, and further examined whether bedtime media use and sleep variables were related to attention control difficulties.


      Data were collected from 345 middle-schoolers (ages 12-14, 47% female) at baseline (T1) and at 6-month follow-up (T2).


      Students self-reported their access to media devices and internet in their bedroom, bedtime media use, sleep, and attention control. Data were analyzed using cross-lagged panel modeling.


      Greater bedtime media use (at T1) was associated with less time in bed and longer sleep onset latency at T2, controlling for T1 levels of these variables. In the case of sleep effects on bedtime media use, greater daytime sleepiness and less time in bed (at T1) were associated with greater bedtime media use at T2, controlling for T1 levels. Further, greater daytime sleepiness (at T2, controlling for T1 levels) was associated with greater attention control difficulties at T2.


      Findings provide evidence for some reciprocal relations between bedtime media use and poor sleep in adolescents. Furthermore, higher daytime sleepiness was linked to greater attention control difficulties.


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