Question & Answer

Does screen time before bedtime make a difference to sleep quality in younger people?

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  • It has been claimed that looking at screens before bedtime can make a difference in sleep quality.
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that sitting and looking at screens for long periods of time is not good for our health. Examples of these screen activities include watching TV or videos, playing computer games, etc.
  • One systematic review of 23 studies suggested that excessive use of digital screens is linked with reduced sleep quality and duration, although many of the studies were not of high quality.
  • Another systematic review of 42 studies found that using digital media at bedtime or during the night was associated with  poor sleep outcomes in people aged 16-25.

Things to Remember


  • Drafted by: Dr. KM Saif-Ur-Rahman, Evidence Synthesis Ireland and Cochrane Ireland, University of Galway
  • Reviewed by: Prof Declan Devane, School of Nursing and Midwifery, HRB-Trials Methodology Research Network, Evidence Synthesis Ireland & Cochrane Ireland, University of Galway.
  • Topic Advisor: Prof Sinéad Lydon, Associate Professor, Discipline of General Practice, School of Medicine, University of Galway.
  • Public and patient advisor: Deirdre Mac Loughlin, Public and Patient Involvement in research (PPI) advisor, PPI Ignite, University of Galway.
  • Journalistic advisor: Dr. Claire O’Connell,Contributor to The Irish Times, writing about health, science and innovation