A bidirectional model of sleep and technology use: A theoretical review of How much, for whom, and which mechanisms

Serena Bauducco, Meg Pillion, Kate Bartel, Chelsea Reynolds, Michal Kahn, Michael Gradisar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
64 Downloads (Pure)


The link between technology and sleep is more complex than originally thought. In this updated theoretical review, we propose a new model informed by the growing body of evidence in the area over the past 10 years. The main theoretical change is the addition of bi-directional links between the use of technology and sleep problems. We begin by reviewing the evidence to date for the originally proposed mechanisms of bright light, arousal, nighttime sleep disruptions, and sleep displacement. Then, in support of the new direction of effect (sleep problems preceding technology use), we propose two new mechanisms: technology before sleep might be used as a time filler and/or as an emotional regulation strategy to facilitate the sleep-onset process. Finally, we present potential moderators of the association between technology and sleep, in recognition of protective and vulnerability factors that may mitigate or exacerbate the effects of technology on sleep and vice versa. The goal of this theoretical review is to update the field, guide future public health messages, and to prompt new research into how much technology and sleep affect each other, for whom it may be problematic, and which mechanisms may explain their association.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101933
Number of pages12
JournalSleep Medicine Reviews
Early online date15 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Apr 2024


  • Bedtime
  • Bi-directional links
  • Media
  • Sleep
  • Sleep onset process
  • Technology use


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