Protective and risk factors for adolescent sleep: A meta-analytic review

Kate Bartel, Michael Gradisar, Paul Williamson

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    348 Citations (Scopus)


    Teenagers need sufficient sleep to function well daily, yet consolidated evidence advising which factors protect, or harm, adolescents' sleep is lacking. Forty-one studies, published between 2003 and February, 2014, were meta-analysed. Mean weighted r values were calculated to better understand the strength of protective and risk factors for 85,561 adolescents' (age range = 12-18 y) bedtime, sleep onset latency (SOL) and total sleep time (TST). Results showed good sleep hygiene and physical activity were associated with earlier bedtimes. Video gaming, phone, computer and internet use, and evening light related to delayed bedtimes. Good sleep hygiene negatively correlated with sleep latency. Alternatively, sleep latency lengthened as a negative family environment increased. Tobacco, computer use, evening light, a negative family environment and caffeine were associated with decreased total sleep, whereas good sleep hygiene and parent-set bedtimes related to longer sleep length. Good sleep hygiene appears to be protective, whereas a negative home environment and evening light appear to be risk factors. Cautious use of technology (other than television), caffeine, tobacco and alcohol should be considered. These factors, along with pre-sleep worry, are likely to have some negative impact on sleep. Parent-set bedtimes and physical activity may be beneficial. Future research directions are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)72-85
    Number of pages14
    JournalSleep Medicine Reviews
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


    • Adolescent sleep
    • Bedtime
    • Protective
    • Risk
    • Sleep onset latency
    • Total sleep time


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