Screen media use and sleep patterns in Spanish adolescents during the lockdown of the coronavirus pandemic

Sleep Breath. 2022 Dec;26(4):1993-2000. doi: 10.1007/s11325-021-02558-y. Epub 2022 Jan 15.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate screen media use and sleep patterns among Spanish adolescents during the lockdown (LD) of the first peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Methods: Cross-sectional community-based study of adolescents aged 11-18 years. An online questionnaire with queries about screen time, sleep, and other healthy habits was completed by parents or guardians.

Results: Overall 265 adolescents were enrolled. The mean age was 13.6 ± 2.3 years, 58% were boys, 68% were in secondary school and 72% lived in urban areas. Before the LD (BLD) 87% of adolescents used electronic devices < 4 h/d, while during the LD (DLD) screen time was > 4 h/d in 75% of cases (p < 0.0001). A delayed wake time and bedtime weekdays (BLD wake time weekdays: later than 09:45 0.0% vs. DLD 30%, p < 0.0001, and BLD bedtime weekdays: later than 00:30 3% vs. DLD 35%, p < 0.0001) and weekends DLD was observed. Adolescents who used electronic devices > 4 h/d DLD compared with those who used < 4 h/d reported more frequently long sleep latency (93% vs. 7%, p = 0.007), low sunlight exposure (77% vs. 23%, p = 0.031), less physical activity (86%. vs. 15%, p = 0.011) and weight gain (78%. vs. 22%, p = 0.049).

Conclusions: During the lockdown Spanish adolescents reported elevated screen time and delayed sleep patterns. An increase in screen media use was associated with unhealthy habits.

Keywords: Adolescence; COVID-19; Chronobiology; Healthy habits; Screen time; Sleep.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Coronavirus*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pandemics
  • Schools
  • Sleep
  • Surveys and Questionnaires