Clinical Edge

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Nighttime Media Use in Adolescents with ADHD

Sleep Med; ePub 2018 Jul 28; Becker, Lienesch

Nighttime media use may contribute to sleep problems and comorbid internalizing symptoms in adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a recent study. 81 adolescents (69% male) aged 13-17 with ADHD completed measures assessing pubertal development, nighttime media use, circadian preference, and daytime sleepiness. Both adolescents and parents completed measures of sleep duration, sleep problems, and internalizing symptoms. Researchers found:

  • When summing across media uses (eg, social networking, playing video games, watching television), the average nighttime media use (after 9 PM) was 5.31 hours.
  • 63% of adolescents reported obtaining <8 hours of sleep on school nights, and this percentage rose to 77% for parent-reported sleep duration.
  • Adolescents obtaining less sleep than recommended had more nighttime media use than adolescents obtaining ≥8 hours of nightly sleep.
  • Controlling for age, sex, pubertal development, stimulant medication use, and ADHD symptom severity, nighttime media use was associated with shorter sleep duration and increased sleep problems across both adolescent and parent report.
  • Media use was also associated with greater adolescent-reported anxiety and depression.


Becker S, Lienesch JA. Nighttime media use in adolescents with ADHD: Links to sleep problems and internalizing symptoms. [Published online ahead of print July 28, 2018]. Sleep Med. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2018.06.021.

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