PURPOSE: To study the effects of STRICT (sleep time related information and communication technology) on mood, cognition, daytime function.
METHODS: A modified version of the Children’ s Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ) was distributed to appropriate patients at the JFK Sleep Clinic. Additionally, a 19 question STRICT survey was distributed to assess sleep related ICT use. CSHQ included questions regarding sleep/wake patterns, measures of daytime sleepiness, cognition and mood. STRICT questionnaire covered type, duration and frequency of ICT use, and questions of parent limit setting.
RESULTS: 40 students (60% Males, 40% Females) 8-22 y/o completed the survey from September to May 2010. Mean age: 14.5 years. 77.5% had persistent sleep initiation problems. Gender preference existed in preferred type of STRICT: boys more likely to surf the internet and game online; girls more likely to text message or use cell phones. Average number of texts/emails per night: 33.5. Average number people texted/night: 3.7. Average number of awakenings involving SRICT: 1/night. Monthly number of sleep time texts sent per person averaged 3,404; and occured over a range of 10 minutes to 4 hours afte rbedtime. Among adolescents, older age correlated with later bedtimes and more time spent in STRICT usage. High rates of daytime cognitive/mood problems were associated with STRICT, includeding ADHD, anxiety, depression, learning difficulties. Nighttime problems included excessive movements, insomnia, leg pain.
CONCLUSION: This pilot study suggests that STRICT may have an adverse impact on sleep hygiene and daytime function which may be significant. Questions regarding STRICT should be incorporated into routine evaluation of sleep patients. These data suggest that further studies are needed to evaluate the short and long term consequences of STRICT on sleep.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The effects of electronic media on sleep are gaining increasing attention. This pilot study suggests that thess media can negatively impact performance and behavior in school children. Less sleep and poor sleep quality are consequences of STRICT use at bedtime. Such activity should be monitored. Attempts at limiting use at bedtime appear to be reasonable.
DISCLOSURE: Peter Polos, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information