Evolution of Sleep Duration and Screen Time Between 2018 and 2022 Among Canadian Adolescents: Evidence of Drifts Accompanying the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Publication date: Feb 09, 2024

We quantified the joint evolution of sleep duration and screen time between 2018 and 2022 in a large sample of adolescents from Quebec, Canada, to ascertain changes that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. A natural experiment design was used to compare variations from year to year and in association with the pandemic outbreak. Using structural equation modeling on data collected between 2018 and 2022 among adolescents attending 63 high schools, we analyzed the joint evolution of sleep duration and screen time while adjusting for previous year values, concurrent flourishing score, sex, age, and family level of material deprivation. A total of 28,307 adolescents, aged on average 14. 9 years, were included in the analyses. Between 2019 and 2022, sleep duration increased by 9. 6 (5. 7, 13. 5) minutes and screen time by 129. 2 (120. 5, 138. 0) minutes on average. In 2022, the adolescents spent almost equal amounts of time sleeping and using screens. Lower flourishing scores were associated with shorter sleep duration and lengthier screen time. Girls’ screen time became similar to boys’ over time. Adolescents now spend almost equal amounts of time sleeping and using screens, a situation that calls for urgent public health actions. These findings highlight the importance of tracking changes in adolescents’ behaviours over time, to design and implement interventions adapted to the changing health needs of different groups.

Concepts Keywords
9years Adolescent
Canada Flourishing
Girls Longitudinal data
Pandemic Mental health
Screen time
Sleep duration
Social health inequality


Type Source Name
disease VO time
disease MESH COVID-19 Pandemic
disease VO Canada
drug DRUGBANK Aspartame

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