Introduction In Europe, 20% of adolescents are classified as overweight or obese, and 69% of adolescents do not meet recommended sleep guidelines; 49% have poor sleep quality. Among teenagers’ poor sleep and obesity have been found to be associated. The aim of this study was to identify modifiable shared determinants of poor sleep and increased adiposity.
Methods A cross-sectional study of 11–14-year-olds was conducted (figure 1). Objective sleep timing variables were measured using actigraphy (ActiGraph-GT3X) over seven nights. Sleep quality, sleep habits and insomnia were also assessed. Body mass index percentile (pBMI) was used as an index of obesity. Validated self-assessed questionnaires were used to assess screentime addiction (videogaming, social media, mobile phone), wellbeing and chronotype. Hierarchical regression analysis (HRA) was conducted, and models were adjusted for age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and puberty.
Results Sixty-two adolescents (29M/33F, 12.2±1.13yrs, pBMI 60.3±32.0) completed the study. Significant bivariate correlations were identified between screentime timing (late night and early morning phone use) and sleep onset variability, sleep habits, insomnia, chronotype, pBMI, depression, anxiety and stress. HRA (95% confidence interval) showed that screentime addiction was a predictor of increased insomnia, increased sleep onset variability, poorer and irregular sleep habits, later chronotype, increased pBMI, increased depression, increased anxiety and increased stress. Screentime timing was a predictor of increased insomnia, increased sleep onset variability, irregular sleep habits, later chronotype, increased pBMI, increased depression, increased anxiety and increased stress.
Discussion Reducing screentime addiction, late night and early morning screentime usage could help improve sleep and wellbeing and reduce obesity in adolescents. This change in screentime practice could be used as a target for a health-promoting intervention.
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