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Teenage Sleep and Screens


Insufficient sleep is an issue for many New Zealand adolescents that impacts their physical health and emotional wellbeing. Athough using electronic devices before bed reduces sleep duration and worsen sleep quality, we don’t know why this occurs. This research uses novel wearable cameras to provide insight into how using screens in the pre-bed period impacts sleep in adolescents, so that we can develop interventions that have a greater chance of improving physical and mental health in this vulnerable age group. Wearable cameras have the potential to passively capture not just multiple lifestyle behaviours, but also the environmental context of these behaviours (e.g. use of portable devices while travelling) with little respondent burden. Importantly they could provide objective insight into both the quantity of screen use, types of screens, use of multiple screens and the context of use (e.g. television in the bedroom) in an adolescent population. Coupled with actigraphy to measure sleep outcomes, they offer an objective way to understand how screen time might impact on sleep outcomes.